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Qfacnell UtttDcratty SIthratg 

Jlll;aca, UStm Snrk 



CHARLES WILLIAM WASON 
COLLECTION 

CHINA AND THE CHINESE 



THE GIFT OF 

CHARLES WILLIAM WASON 

CLASS OF 1876 

1918 



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Cornell University Library 
GR 830 .D7V83 

China and Jaoanv 




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THE DRAGON 
IN CHINA AND JAPAN 



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PREFACE. 

The student of Chinese and Japanese religion and folklore 
soon discovers the mighty influence of Indian thought upon the 
Far-Eastern mind. Buddhism introduced a great number of Indian, 
not especially Buddhist, conceptions and legends, clad in a Bud- 
dhist garb, into the eastern countries. In China Taoism was 
ready to gratefully take up these foreign elements which in 
many respects resembled its own ideas or were of the same 
nature; In this way the store of ancient Chinese legends was 
not only largely enriched, but they were also mixed up with the 
Indian fables. The same process took place in Japan, when 
Buddhism, after having conquered Korea, in the sixth century 
of our era reached Dai Nippon's shores. Before a hundred years 
had elapsed the Japanese mind got imbued with foreign ideas, 
partly Chinese, partly Indian. To the mixture of these two 
elements a third one, consisting of the original Japanese concep- 
tions, was added, and a very intricate complex was formed. 
Whoever studies the Japanese legends has the difficult task of 
analysing this complex into its parts.- — 

No mythical creature is more familiar to Far-Eastern art and 
literature than the dragon. It is interesting to observe how in 
Japan three different kinds of dragons, originating from India, 
China and Japan, are to be found side by side.' To the super- 
ficial observer they all belong to one and the same" class of rain 
bestowing, thunder and storm arousing gods of the water, but 
a careful examination teaches us that they are different from 
each other. 

The Indian serpent- shaped Naga was identified in China with 
the four-legged Chinese dragon, because both were divine inhabi- 
tants^ of seas^and rivers, afld givers- ef rain. J_tJa_n o--woflder that 
the Japanese- in thi^ blBnding"^XlMneserairdrlndian ideas recog- 
nized their own serpent or dragon-shaped gods of rivers and 
mountains, to whom they used to pray for rain in times of 
drought. Thus the ancient legends of three countries were com- 
bined, and" features of the one were used to adorn the other. 
In order to throw light upon these facts we must examine the 



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VI PR K F A C E. 

Buddhist ideas concerning the Nagas which came from India to 
the East. Being not acquainted with the Sanscrit language, we 
have to refer to the works of European scholars and to trans- 
lations, in order to explain the western elenaents found in Chinese 
and Japanese dragon legends. This being our only aim with 
regard to the Nagas, we will deal with them only by waj of 

introduction. ____^-- 

— iTT^thFTlret^ Book we have systematically arranged the most 
interesting quotations concerning the dragon in China, selected 
from the enormous number of passages on this divine animal 
found in Chinese literature from the remotest ages down to 
modern times. In order to give the original conceptions we did 
not quote the numerous poems on the dragon, because the latter, 
although based upon those conceptions, enlarged them in their 
own poetical way. The Second Book treats of the dragon in 
Japan, considered in the light of the facts given by the Introduc- 
tion and Book I. 

I avail myself of this opportunity to express my hearty thanks 
to Professor De Groot, whose kind assistance enabled me to 
largely extend the Chinese part of this paper. Not only was his 
very rich and interesting library at my disposal, but he himself 
was an invaluable guide to me through the labyrinth of many 
a difficult Chinese passage. Moreover, from the very beginning 
his splendid works, especially the Religious System of China, 
formed the basis of my studies in Chinese and Japanese religion 
and folklore. 

I also tender my best thanks to Professor Speyer, who with 
great kindness gave me most valuable information concerning 
the Nagas, and to Miss E. Schmidt, who kindly put her know- 
ledge and time at my disposal in undertaking the weary labour 
of perusing the manuscript and correcting its language. 

Leiden. M. W. de Visser. 



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CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION. 

THE NAGA IN BUDDHISM, WITH REGARD TO HIS 
IDENTIFICATION WITH THE CHINESE DRAGON. 



§ 1. The Naga according to European scholars 1 

§ 2. The Naga according to some translated texts 6 

§ 3. The Naga as a giver of rain . . 21 

§ 4. Sutras recited in rain ceremonies 25 



BOOK I. 

THE DRAGON IN CHINA. 

CHAPTEE I. 

THE DRAGON IN THE CHINESE CLASSICS. 

§ 1. Yih king 35 

I 2. Shu king 39 

I i. Li ki 39 

§ 4. Cheu li 40 

% b. I li 41 

CHAPTER IT. 

DIVINATION AND GEOMANCY. 

§ 1. Lucky omens 43 

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VIII CONTENTS. 

Pago 

§ 2. Bad omens , 45 

A. Fighting dragons . . . . .45 

B. Dead dragons . ... 49 

C. Dragons appearing at wrong times 50 

D. Dragons appearing in wrong places . . 54 

§ 3. Dragon-horses 56 

§ 4. Geomancy 59 

CHAPTER III. 

GENERAL INFORMATION. 

§ 1. Enormous light-giving mountain gods 62 

§ 2. Nature of the dragons 63_ 

§ 3. "What dragons like and dislike 67 

§ 4. Shape of the dragons 70 

§ 5.- Male and female dragon? 11 

§ ^6- Different kinds of dragons 72 

§ 7. Kiao lung (!^ f|) 76 

§ 8. Rearing and taming dragons 82 

§ 9. Dragons ridden by s«m, or drawing the cars of gods and holy men. 83 

§ 10. Dragon-boats 83 

§ 11. "Dragon-tail-road" and other words connected with the dragon. 85 

§ 12. Dragon-gate 86 

§ 13. Dragon's dens 87 

§ 15. Dragon herds 87 

§ 15. Dragon's pearls 88 

§ 16. Dragon's eggs 88 

§ 17. Dragon's bones, skins, teeth, horns, brains, livers, placentae 

and foetus, used as medicines 90 

§ 18. Dragon's blood, fat and saliva 96 

CHAPTER IV. 

ORNAMENTS. 

§ ]. Symbols of Imperial dignity and fertilizing rain, represented 

on garments, honorary gates, coffins etc 99 

(§ 2. ' Nine different kinds of dragons, used as ornaments .... 101 

§ 3. Ornaments used by Wu-ist priests and mediums 102 

§ 4. The dragons and the ball 103 

CHAPTER V. 

CAUSING RAIN, THUNDER AND STORM. 

§ 1. The gods of thunder, clouds and rain 109 

§ 2. Violent rains accompanied by heavy winds and thunderstorms. Ill 

§ 3. Rain magic and prayers 113 



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CONTENTS. IX 

CHAPTER VI. 

EMPERORS CONNECTED WITH DRAGONS. 

Page 

§ 1. Hwang Ti rode on a dragon 122 

§ 2. Yao and Kao Tsu were sons of dragons 123 

§ 3. Shun was visited by a yellow dragon 123 

§ 4. Yii drove in a carriage drawn by dragons, and was assisted 

by a ying lung 123 

§ 5. Ming Hwang's vessel was moved forward by a dragon . . . 124 

§ 6. Two yellow dragons threatened to upset Yii's vessel .... 124 

§ 7. Shi Hwang died on account of having killed a dragon . . . 124 

CHAPTER VII. 

TRANSFORMATIONS. 

§ 1. The dragon's transformations are unlimited 126 

§ 2. Appearing as old men or beautiful women 126 

§ 3. Appearing as fishes 127 

§ 4. Appearing as snakes, dogs or rats 129 

§ 5. A cow transformed into a dragon 129 

§ 6. Appearing as objects 130 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE INDIAN NAGA IN CHINA. 

§ 1. Reborn as a dragon Cl32_^) 

§ 2. Ponds inhabited by Dragon-kings 132 

§ 3. Temples of Dragon-kings 133~; 

§ 4. Palaces of Dragon-kings ■^^'^ ) 



BOOK II. 

THE DRAGON IN JAPAN. 

CHAPTER I. 

THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE DRAGON-GODS OF RIVERS, SEAS AND MOUNTAINS. 

§ 1. Ohami 135 

§ 2. Yamatsu7m and Mitsuha 136 

§ 3. Watatsumi 137 

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X CONTENTS. 

Page 

§ 4. Mizuchi, the rivergods 137 

§ 5. Oho-tvatatsumij the sea-god 139 

§ 6. Wani 139 

§ 7. The jewels of flood and ebb 142 

§ 8. Tahe-iwa Tatsu no Mikoto, the dragon-god of a sacred pond 

in Higo province 143 

§ 9. An Emperor's dragon-tail 145 

CHAPTER II. 

THE CHINESE DRAGON AND THE DRAGON-HORSE AS OMENS IN JAPAN. 

§ 1. Flying dragon as the horse of a ghost or a sien 146 

§ 2. Dragon-horses 147 

§ 3. Carriage of a ghost drawn through the air by eight dragons. 150 

§ 4. A dragon appears as a good omen 150 

CHAPTER III. 

CAUSING RAIN. 

§ 1. Shinto gods : . . 152 

§ 2. Horses offered to Shinto gods 156 

§ 3. Buddhism wins field 158 

§ 4. The Sacred Spring Park 159 

§ 5. The "Dragon-hole" on Mount Murobu 168 

§ 6. Reborn as a rain-giving dragon 170 

§ 7. Buddhist priests dominating the dragons 171 

§ 8. Dragon- women in ponds 172 

§ 9. Stirring up the dragons by throwing iron or filth into their ponds. 174 
§ 10. A dragon engraved on an incense pot believed to cause rain. 

Pine trees cause clouds to rise and rain to fall .... 175 

§ 11. The eight Dragon-kings , . . . 176 

§ 12. A Buddhist dragon's suicide 177 

§ 13. Conclusions 177 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE INDIAN NAGA IN JAPAN. 

§ 1. The Dragon-kings revere Buddha's Law 179 

§ 2. Dragons appear at the dedication of Buddhist, temples . . . 180 

§ 3. Dragons living in ponds or lakes, mostly near Buddhist shrines. 181 

§ 4. Reborn as dragons 184 

§ 5. Dragon-kings of the sea check the course of vessels in order 

to obtain special Buddhist treasures as offerings .... 187 

§ 6. The "jewel which grants all desires" (cintamani) 189 



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CONTENTS. XI 

Page 

§ 8. The Dragon-gods of the inner and outer seas 190 

§ 9. Dragon-palaces 191 

§ 10. Dragons connected with Buddhist priests 193 

§ 11. Eight dragons ridden through the sky by a Buddhist deity . 194 

§ 12. Curses wrought by dragons 194 

§ 13. Kelics of dragons preserved in Buddhist temples 195 

§ 14. The "Dragon-flower-meeting" ' 196 

CHAPTER V. 

CHINESE AND INDIAN DRAGONS IDENTIFIED OR CONNECTED WITH ANCIENT 

JAPANESE DEITIES. 

§ 1. Sagara the Dragon-king, the Yamato no orochi, Antoku Tenno 

and the Kusanagi sword 197 

§ 2. The Thunder-god caught by Sukaru and identified with a 

Dragon-king 199 

§ 8. Watatsumi no kami, the Sea-god, identified with a Dragon-king. 201 

§ 4. The dragon-hole in the Gion shrine 202 

§ 5. The dragon-snake offered by the Sea-god to the Sada shrine . 202 

§ 6. A dragon-snake as a tree-sprite on Koya san 202 

§ 7. The "Heavenly Dragon's Well" at the Suwa shrine .... 203 

§ 8. Kurikara Myo-o, the dragon-shaped mountain-god 204 

CHAPTER VI. 

THE DRAGON-LANTERN. 

§ 1. Dengyo Daishi's image of Yakushi Nyorai 205 

§ 2. Kobo Daishi's spirit 206 

§ 3. Jigen Daishi's spirit 207 

§ 4. "Dragon-lantern pine trees" 207 

§ 5. Tide-stones connected with dragon-lanterns 209 

§ 6. The Mountain-light and the Dragon-lantern of Grammokuzan 

in Etchti province , 210 

§ 7. Kwannon's dragon-lantern at Ryukoji 210 

§ 8. Tomyo-dako, Kumano Gongen at Nogami, Kwomyoji at Kama- 

kitra and Zenkwoji at Kagano 211 

§ 9. The light of Yotsukura 211 

§ 10. The lights of Ushijima, Ishidozan and Kurikara 212 

§ 11. Ignes fatui in general. The dragon-lantern is the only one 

which arises from the sea and flies to the mountains . . 213 

CHAPTER VII. 

THE CHINESE DRAGON's EGGS IN JAPAN. 

§ 1. The dragon-fetus remains in the egg for three thousand years. 215 

§ 2. Dragons born from beautiful stones picked up in the mountains. 216 

§ 3. Thunderstones 219 

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XII CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER Vlll. 

THE TATSUMAKl ( ^| ^ ), OR "DRAGON's ROLL". 

Page 

§ 1. Dragons which ascended to heaven 220 

§ 2. Tatsumaki in Yedo 221 

§ 3. Tatsumaki on the sea 222 

§ 4. Snakes rise as dragons up to the clouds • . . . 224 

CHAPTER IX. 

JAPANESE, CHINESE AND INDIAN DRAGONS IN GEOGRAPHICAL, 
TEMPLE AND PRIEST NAMES. 

§ 1. The Japanese dragon (tatsu) 225 

§ 2. The Chinese and Indian dragons (ryu or ryo) 227 

A. Names of mountains 227 

B. Names of spi-ings, waterfalls and rivers 228 

C. Names of islands, valleys and places . 228 

D. Names of Buddhist temples 229 

E. Names of Buddhist priests 230 

CHAPTER X. 

CONCLUSIONS . 231 



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INTRODUCTION. 

THE NAGA IN BUDDHISM, WITH REGARD TO HIS IDENTIFICATION WITH 

THE CHINESE DRAGON. 

§ i. The Waga according to European scholars. 

In order to learn the Buddhist conceptions on the Naga's nature, 
and the reasons why the Chinese identified this serpent with 
their four-legged dragon, we have to consult the works of some 
authorities on Buddhism: Kern, Hardy, Grunwedel and others. 
For the Naga, known in the Far East, is clad in a Buddhist garb, 
and the legends about him which became popular in China and 
Japan were all imbued with Buddhism. Kern, in his History of 
Indian Buddhism ^, states that the Nagas occupy the eighth rank 
in the system of the world, after the Buddhas, Pratyekabuddhas, 
Arhats, Devas, Brahmas, Gandharvas and Garudas, and before 
the Takshas, Kumbhandas (goblins), Asuras (demons), Raksasas 
(giants), Pretas (ghosts, spectres) and the inhabitants of hell. 
"They are water spirits, represented as a rule in human shapes, 
with a crown of serpents on their heads". And iu his Manual 
of Indian Buddhism ^ we read that they are "snake-like beings, 
resembling clouds". As to the enumeration of the beings, this is 
different in some other texts, as we learn from a note in the 
same Manual^. In the initial phrase of all the Avadanas 
Buddha is said to be worshipped by men, Devas, Nagas, 
Takshas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras and Mahoragas *. These are, 
however, not exactly the "Eight classes" often mentioned in Chi- 
nese and Japanese Buddhist works. These are Devas, Nagas, 
Takshas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras and Mahoragas ^ 



\ Hisioire du Bouddhisme dans Vlnde, Annales du Mnsee Guimet, Bibl. d'etudes, 
X et XI, Vol. I, p. 310 (295). 2 P. 59 seq. 3 P. 60, note 1. 

4 LfiON Feer, Avadana-ffataka, Annales du Musee Guimet XVIII, p. 2. 

5 The phrase "Devas, Nagas and (the remaining of the) eight classes" ( ^ ^B /^ 
■^ ) is very often found in the Chinese siitras. Edkins {Chinese Buddhism, p. 217) 

says: "Beings inferior to the Devas are called collectively the "Eight classes". This is 

a mistake, for, as Eitel {Sanscr.-Chin. diet. s. v. Naga, p. 103) rightly explains, the 

Verh. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensch. (Afd. Letteri.) N. R. Dl. XIII, N" 3. I 

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Haruy's Manual of .Buddhism ' gives the follo wing details^on:: 
_eerning the Nagas. /"TheNagas reside in Ihe loka (world) under 
the Trikutar-Totrfes'that support Meru, and in the waters^of the 
world of men. They have the shape TitThe spectacle-snake, with 
/the^^extended hood (coluber naga); but many actions are^ attri- 
buted— to them that can only be done by one possessing^ the 
hurnan form. They are demi-gods, and have many enjoyments; 
and they are usually represented as being favourable to BuddhaTand 
hi&^ilh«feM'syhut7wEenrthBir^wf^^ 

of a formidable character". With regard to Mount Meru Hardy 
says: "The summit is the abode of Sekra (Qakra), the regent or 
chief of the dewaloka called Tawutisa (Trayastrimgat) ; and around 
it are four mansions, 5000 yojanas in size, inhabited by nagas, 
garundas, khumbandas, and yakas" 2. In describing the dewa- 
lokas he says: "The palace of Virupaksha is on the west. His 

Devas also belong to the Eight classes. But according to Eitel, the ancient Chinese 
phrase speaks of "Nagas, Devas and (others of) the eight classes ( S|| ^^ A, ^^ ). I 
never found them enumerated in this order in the Chinese siit^'as, for the Devas were 
always placed before the Nagas. Moreover, in the jstakas and avadanas the Devas 
always precede the Nagas in the often repeated order of beings. In the "Sutra on the 
original vow of the Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha" (Nakjo's Catalogue, nr 1003, translated 
from Sanscrit into Chinese at the end of the seventh century), p. 26, the terms 
^ ■^g J^ )|jft , "Devas, Nagas, Demons and Spirits", and ^ §& f\^ -^ , "Devas 
Nagas, and (the remaining of) the Eight Classes", are met side by side. I often found 
the phrase Tenryu hachibu in Japanese works. This is, of course, the logical order, as 
the Devas are of higher rank in the system of the world than the Nagas and there- 
fore ought to be mentioned before the latter. The fact that the Devas belong to the 
eight classes is stated in the Ta-Ming san-tsang fah shu, "Numbers (i. e. numerical 
terms and phrases) of the Law of the Tripitaka, collected under the Great Ming dynasty" 
(Nanjo, nr 1621), Ch. 33, p. 13 sq., s. v. J\^ •^ , where they are enumerated as 
Devas, Nagas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras and Mahoragas. 

There is, however, a second phrase, namely "Men, Devas and (the remaining of) the 
Eight Classes", ^ ^ ^ ^ , which we find in the Sulralamkara gastra (Nanjo, 
nr 1182, Great Japanese Trip, of Leiden, Ch. X, p. 4a and 6), in two passages where the 
Buddhas Qakyamuni and Maitreya are said to honour Mahakacyapa "before men, Devas 
and (the remaining of) the eight classes". Huber {Sutralamkara, nr 56, pp. 278 seq.) 
translates : "Les huit classes des Devas", but the Devas are not divided into eight 
classes and the character ^ (men) belongs, of course, to the same sentence and not to 
the preceding one. Men precede Devas when the different beings are enumerated, and 
the initial phrase of the Avadanas gives us their names : Men, Devas, Nagas, Yakshas, 
Asaras, Garudas, Kinnai-as and Mahoragas (cf. also Huber, 1.1., pp. 462 seq. ; Chavannes. 
Cinq cents conies el apologues extraits du Tripitaka chinois (1910), Vol. Ill, p. 61). 

If the former phrase actually is found sometimes in ancient Chinese books in the 
wrong form given by Edkins, the Nagas being placed before the Devas (I think I saw 
it once also in a Japanese work), this mistake must have risen from blending the for- 
mer phrase with the latter, which mentions the Devas in the second nlace. 



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attendants are the Nagas, a kela-laksha . in number, who have 
red garments, hold a sword and shield of coral, and are mounted 
on red horses" '. 

GatJNWEDEL ^) states that the attributes of this Virupaksha, one 
of the four lokapalas or Guardians of the World, also called 
the "Four Great Kings" (Oaturmaharajas), are a caitya (a sanc- 
tuary) or a jewel in the form of a caitya in the right, and a 
serpent in the left hand. 

Before Gautama's attainment of Buddhahood a Naga king, 
Kala by name, became aware jof the approaching event by the 
sound the Bodhisattva's golden vessel produced when striking 
against the vessels of the three last Buddhas in Kala's abode. 
For they all had, like Siddhartha, flung their golden bowls into 
the river ^. 

As we shall see below, the Naga king Mucilinda, who lived 
in the lake of this name, by his coils and hoods sheltered the 
Lord from wind and rain for seven days. The Indian artists often 
represented the Buddha sitting under Mucilinda's extended hoods. 

Not always, however, were the Naga kings so full of reverence 
towards the Buddha; but in the end, of course, even the most 
obstinate one was converted. Nandopananda, e. g., tried to prevent 
the Lord's return from the Tashita heaven to the earth, but was 
conquered by Maudgalyayana in the shape of a Garuda, and 
was then instructed by the Buddha himself*. When the Master 
had delivered a sutra in one of the heavenly paradises, the Devas 
and Nagas came forward and said: "We will henceforth protect 
correct doctrine" ^ After Buddha's death the Naga kings struggled 
with the kings of the Devas and eight kings of India to obtain 
a share in Buddha's relics ", and got one third, and Ashoka gave 
Nanda a hair of Buddha's moustaches, while he threatened to 
destroy his kingdom if he refused. Nanda erected a pagoda of 
rock crystal for it on Mount Sumeru '. 

According to Northern Buddhism Nagarjuna (± 150 A.D.), the 
founder of the Mahayana doctrine, was instructed by Nagas in 
the sea, who showed him unknown books and gave him his 
most important work, the Prajna paramita, with which he returned 



t P. 24. 

2 Mythologie des Buddhismus in Tibet und der Mongolei, p. 181. 

3 Kern, Manual, p. 19; Hist, du Bouddhisme dans I'Inde, Vol, I, p. 70 (64) (there 
he is called "roi du monde souterrain"). 

4 Hardy, 1.1., pp. 302 seq. 

5 Edkins, 1.1., p. 39. 6 Edkins, 1.1., p. 58. 
7 Ibidem, p. 59. 



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to India. For this reason his name, originally Arjima, was changed 
into Nagarjuna ', and he is represented in art with seven Nagas 
over his head 2. 

The Mahayana school knows a long list of Naga kings, among 
whom the eight so-called "Great Naga kings" are the following: 
Nanda (called Nagaraja, the "King of the Nagas"), Upananda, 
Sagara, Vasuki, Takshaka, Balavan, Anavatapta and TJtpala ^ 
These eight are often mentioned in Chinese and Japanese legends 
as "the eight Dragon-kings", Aff ^, and were said to have 
been among Buddha's audience^ with their retinues, while he 
delivered the instructions contained in the "Sutra of the Lotus 
of the Good Law" (Saddharma Pundarika sutra, Hokkekyo, ^ 

The Nagas are divided into four castes, just like men, and 
form whole states. "They are", says Grunwedel % "the Lords of 
the Earth more than any one else, and send, when having been 
insulted, drought, bad crops, diseases and pestilence among 
mankind". 

With regard to the Nagas in Indian art we h^ive an excellent 
guide in GfitiNWEDEi's Buddhistische Kunst in Indieri. After having 
stated that the Vedas not yet mention them '', but that they 
belong to the Indian popular belief, extended afterwards by the 
official brahmanic religion, he further remarks that they often 
penetrated in human shape into the Master's neighbourhood and 
even tried to be taken up among his followers, as we see on a 
relief of Gandhara (p. 102, Fig. 47; the Naga's true shape was 
detected in his sleep). For this reason one of the questions put, 
even to-day, to those who wish to be taken up into the Order 
is: "Are you perhaps a Naga?" There are three ways in which 
the Indian Buddhist art has represented the Nagas. First: fully 
human, on the head an Uraeus-like snake, coming out of the 



1 Translated into Lung-shu, ^U J^, or Dragon-tree; cf. Edkins, p. 230; Eitel, 
1.1., p. 103. We find the name Nagarjuna in the Kathasaritsagara, Ch. XLI, Tawney's 
translation, Vol. I, p. 376: a minister, "who knew the use of all drugs and by making 
an elixir rendered himself and king Chirayus (Long-lived) free fi-om old-age, and long- 
lived". 

2 Grunwedel, 1.1., pp. 30 seqq., p. 46. 

3 Grunwedel, 1.1., pp. 190 seq. 

4 Haedy, 1.1., p. 215. 

5 L.I., p. 187. 

6 Cf. L. VON ScHUOEUER, Itidiens Literatur und Cultur (1887), p. 377: "Im Rigveda 
sind dieselben (die Schlangeng6tter) ganz unbekannt, in Yajurveda aber finden wir be- 



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neck and often provided with several heads. This form has been 
taken up in Tibet, China • and Japan '. Secondly : common ser- 
pents, and thirdly : a combination of both, i. e. snakes of which 
the upper part of the body looks human, snake's heads appeariog 
sbove their human heads; the lower part of the body entirely 
snake-like ^. The first mentioned shape is to be seen in Fig. 5 
(p. 29), a relief representing Nagas worshipping a small stupa 
on a throne, and in Fig. 103 (p. 103), where a Garuda in the 
shape of an enormous eagle is flying upwards with a Nagi (Naga 
woman) in his claws, and biting the long snake which comes 
out of the woman's neck. A pillar figure of the stupa of Bharhut 
represents Cakravaka, the Naga king, standing on a rock in the 
water, with five snake's heads in his neck, while snakes are 
visible in holes of the rock ". Once, when Nagas appeared before 
Buddha in order to listen to his words, he ordered Vajrapani to 
protect them against the attacks of their enemies, the Garudas. 
An Indian relief shows us these Nagas, the Naga king Elapatra 
and his consort, standing in the water, with snakes upon 
their heads, and worshipping Buddha, while in the background 
Vajrapani is brandishing his sceptre against the expected Garudas. 
This Vajrapani's main function is, according to Grunwedel, to 
give rain, and as a raingod he is the protector of the rain giving 
snake-gods, the Nagas *. 

Foucher's very interesting paper on the Great Miracle of the 
Buddha at ^''^vasti ^ repeately mentions the Naga kings Nanda 
and Upananda, represented at the base of the Buddha's lotus 
seat. At the request of King Prasenajit the Buddha wrought 
two miracles: walking through the air in different attitudes he 
alternately ernitted flames and waves from the upper or lower 
part of his body, and, secondly, he preached the Law after having 
multiplied himself innumerable times, up to the sky and in all 
directions. According to the Divt/avadana the Buddha, after having 
completed the first miracle, conceived a wordly idea, which was 
immediately executed by the gods. Brahma and Qakra placed 
themselves at the Buddha's right and left side, and the Naga 



1 Cf. p. 114, Fig. 57, a Japanese picture, after Chinese model, representing Buddha's 
Nirvana. Among the lamenting creatures, which surround the Master's hody, also Naga 
kings with snakes above their heads are to be seen. 

2 Cf. Grukwedel, Myth, des Buddhismus in Tibet und der Mongolei, p. 89, Fig. 73. 

3 Grunwedel, Buddh. in Tibet und der Mongolei, p. 15. 

4 L.l,, p. 160. 

5 FoucHEE, Le grand miracle du Buddha a Qravasti, Journal Asiatique, Serie X, 
Tome XIII, pp. 1—78. 



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kings Nanda and Upananda (who were said so have bathed the 
new-born Buddha and to have played a part in many episodes 
of his life) created an enormous, magnificent lotus upon which 
the Master sat down. Then the Buddha by means of his magic 
power created a great number of Buddhas, seated on lotuses or 
standing, walking, lying, over his head, up to the highest heavens, 
and on all sides. This scene is recognized by Foucher on several 
Indian monuments. Often the two Naga kings are seen under or 
on both sides of the lotus created by thettiselves. They are 
represented supporting the lotus in a kneeling attitude, entirely 
human but with five serpents over their heads ', or with human 
upper bodies and scaly serpent tails ^. 

In the Jatakas the Nagas are always described as enormous ser- 
pents ; sometimes, however, they appear in later Indian (i. e. Graeco- 
Buddhist) art as real dragons, although with the upper part of 
the body human. So we see them on a relief from Gandhara^, 
worshipping Buddha's almsbowl, in the shape of big water-dragons, 
scaled and winged, with two horse-legs, the upper part of the 
body human. Most remarkable is a picture * which represents 
Garudas fighting with Nagas before the preaching saint Subhuti. 
The Nagas are depicted there in all their three forms: common 
snakes, guarding jewels; hixman beings with four snakes in their 
necks; and winged sea-dragons, the upper part of the body 
human, but with a horned, ox-like , head, the lower part of the 
body that of a coiling dragon. Here_ws--fisd— aHintitretweenJJieL 
snake of ancient India and the iouTrlegged_^inesfi_dragon. 

§ 2. The Naga according to some translated Buddhist texts. 

After having referred to European scholars with respect to the 
Naga in Buddhism, we may compare their results with some 
translated Indian texts. Being not acquainted with the Sanscrit 
language, we thankfully make use of these translations in order 
to illustrate the Buddhist dragon tales of China and Japan; for, 
as I stated already in the Preface, this is the only aim of this 
Introduction. 

Professor Cowell's '^ translation of the Jataha, the canonical 

1 Pp. 19, 48 seq., fig. 3, a sculpture of the rock-temples of Ajanta; cf. pp. 64 seq., 
fig. 11; pp. 74 seq., fig. 16, with two Nagis; pp. 58 seq., flg. 8. 

2 P. 56 seq., flg. 7 (sculpture from Magadha). 

3 Grunwedel, Buddh. Kunst in Indien, p. 20, fig. 10. 

4 Gkunwedel, Buddh. in Tibet und der Mongolei, p. 189, flg. 160. 



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Pali text, made up of those mai'vellous stories of the Buddha's 
former" births, told by himself, contains seven tales which are 
vivid pictures of the great magic power of the Nagas, especially 
of their kings, of the splendour of their palaces, and, on the 
other hand, of their helplessness against their deadly enemies, the 
Garudas '. The Nagas are semi-divine serpents which very often 
assume human shapes and whose kings live with their retinues 
in the utmost luxury in their magnificent abodes at the bottom 
of the sea or in rivers or lakes. When leaving the Naga world 
they are in constant danger of being grasped and killed by the 
gigantic semi-divine birds, the Garudas, which also change them- 
selves into men ^. Buddhism has, in its usual way, declared both 
Nagas and Garudas, mighty figures of the Hindu world of gods 
and demons, to be the obedient servants of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas 
and saints, and to have an open ear for their teachings ^ In the 
same way Northern Buddhism adopted the gods of the countries 
where it introduced itself and made them protectors^of its doctrine 
instead of its antagonists. 

Sometimes * we read that the Buddha, in a previous existence, 
succeeded in reconciling ^ven such bitter enemies as a Naga 
and a Garuda king. He himself was souietimes born as a mighty 
Naga king. Thus he reigned as King Campeyya in his "jewelled 
pavillion" in the river Campa ", as King Samkhapala in the lake 
of this name ", and as King Bhuridatta in the sacred river 
Yamuna '. In all these three cases he desired to be reborn in 
the world of men, and in order to attain this aim left his palace 
on fastdays and lay down on the top of an ant heap, observing 
the fast and offering his magnificent snake body to the passers-by. 



1 Vol. II, p. iO, Book II, nr 154, the Uraga-Jataka ; Vol. Ill, p. 174, Book VI, nr 
386, the Kharaputta-Jataka; Vol. IV, p. 281, Book XV, nr 506, the Campeyya-Jataka ; 
Vol. V, p. 42, Book XVI, nr 518, the Pandara-Jataka; Vol. V, p. 84, Book XVII, nr 
524, the Samkhapala-Jataka ; Vol. VI, p. 80, Book XXII, nr 543, the Bhuridatta-Jataka ; 
and Vol. VI, p. 126, Book XXII, nr 545, the Vidhurapandita-Jataka. 

2 In lapan these birds have been identified with the Tengu: comp. my treatise on 
the Tengu, Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Vol. XXXVI, Part. II, 
pp. 25-98. 

3 Of. Chavannes, Contes et apologues, nr 343 (Vol. II, p. 288), where a Garuda does 
not grasp a Naga who has fled into the house of an ascetic on a small island in the 
sea; of. Vol. Ill, p. 82, where a wicked Naga king is forced by an Arhat to go away, 
and Vol. I, nr 151, p. 423, where the Buddha converts a very evil Naga, whom innu- 
merable Arhats could not convert. 

4 Vol. II, p. 10, nr 154. 

5 Vol. IV, 281, Book XV, nr 506. 

6 Vol. V, p. 84, Book XVII, nr 524. 

7 Vol. VI, pp. 80—113, Book XXII, nr 543. 



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Patiently lie underwent the most terrible tortures, without using 
his enormous power against the puny rogues who caused him 
so much pain. As Samkhapala he 'was freed by a passing mer- 
chant, whom he thereupon treated as a guest in his palace for 
a whole year, and who afterwards became aa ascetic. In the two 
other cases, however, he fell into the hands of a snake-charmer, 
who by means of magical herbs, which he spit upon him, and 
by virtue of the "charm which commands all things of sense", 
as well as by squeezing and crushing, weakened the royal snake, 
and putting him in his basket carried him off to villages and 
towns, where he made him dance before the public. In both 
legends the Bodhisattva is just performing before the King of 
Benares, when he is released on account of the appearance of 
another Naga, Sumana, his queen, or Sudassana, his brother '. 

In the shape of a Garuda-king we find the Bodhisattva in 
another tale ^, where he finds out the secret way by which the 
Nagas often succeed in conquering and killing the Garudas, 
namely by swallowing big stones and thus making themselves 
so heavy that their assailants, striving to lift them up, drop 
down dead in the midst of the streaxn of water, flowing out of 
the Naga's widely opened mouths. Pandara, a Naga king, was 
foolish enough to trust an ascetic, whom both he and the Garuda 
used to visit and honour, and told him at his repeated request 
the valuable, secret of the Naga tribe. The treacherous ascetic 
revealed it at once to the Bodhisattva, who now succeeded in 
capturing Pandara himself by seizing him by the. tail and holding 
him upside down, so that he disgorged the stones he had swallowed 
and was an easy prey. Moved by Pandara's lamentations, 
however, he released him and they became friends, whereupon 
they went" together to the perfidious ascetic. The Naga king 
caused this fellow's head to split into seven pieces and the man 
himself to be swallowed by the earth and to be reborn in the 
Avici hell. 

In the Kharaputta-jataka ^ we read about a Naga king who 
was nearly killed by boys, when seeking food on earth, but was 
saved out of their hands by Senaka, king of Benares. We do 
not read what made the mighty Naga so powerless against those 
children ; for there was apparently no question of fasting as in 



1 A similar tale is to be found in Chayannes's Contes et apologues extraits du 
Tripitaka chinois, Vol. I, pp. 189 sqq., nr 50. 

2 Vol. V, pp. 42 seqq., Book XVI, nr 518. 



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the above mentioned legends of the Bodhisattva. He went back 
to the Naga world and from there brought many jewels as a 
present to the King, at the same time appointing one of his 
numberless Naga girls to be near the King and to protect him. 
He gave him also a charm by means of which he would always 
be able to find the girl, if he did not see her, and afterwards 

^ presented him with another charm, giving knowledge of all 
sounds, so that he understood the voices even of ants '. So we 
find the Naga king not only in the possession of numberless 
jewels and beautiful girls, but also of mighty charms, bestowing 
supernatural vision and hearing. The palaces of the Naga kings 
are always described as extremely splendid, abounding with gold 
and silver and precious stones, and the Naga women, when 
appearing in human shape, were beautiful beyond description. 
But the whole race was terribly quick-tempered, which made 
them, considering their deadly poison and their great magic 
power, very dangerous creatures ^. Even the breath of their 
nostrils was sufficient to kill a man, as we read in the above 
mentioned Kharaputta-jataka, whei'e the Naga king, angry be- 
cause the girl whom he had appointed to protect King Senaka, 
came back to the Naga world, falsely complaining that the King 
' had struck her because she did not do his bidding, at once sent 
four Naga youths to destroy Senaka in his bedroom by the 
breath of their nostrils. 

Often we find stories of men staying as guests in some Naga 
king's palace and enjoying all its luxury, sometimes for seven 
days ^, sometimes even for a whole year *. The most interesting 
of all the Naga tales is the Bhuridatta-jataka ^ We read there 

' about "the Naga world beneath the ocean" ^ and about the Naga 
palace "beneath the Yamuna's sacred stream" ', but at the same 
time the Naga maidens, frightened by the Alambayana spell, a 
serpent spell obtained from a Garuda-king ^, "sank into the 
earth", and the "jewel of luck" \ which "grants all desires" '", 
when falling on the ground "went through it and was lost in 



1 In nr 112 of Chavannes' Contes et Apologues (Vol. II, p. 382) a Naga king causes 
a king to understand all animals. 

2 Vol. VI, p. 82, Book XXII, nr 543. 

3 Vol. IV, p. 281, Book XV, nr 506. 

4 Vol. V, p. 84, Book XVII, nr 524. In nrs 94 and 207 of Chavannes' Contes et 
Apologues (Vol. I, p. 358, Vol. II, p. 87) an Arhat daily flies with his bed to the 
palace of a Naga king, where he receives food. 

5 Vol. VI, pp. 80—113, Book XXII, nr 543. 

6 P. 80. 7 P. 107. 8 Pp. 93, 95. 
9 P. 91. 10 P. 94. 



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the Naga world" '. So we see that whatever belongs to that 
world can disappear into the earth and needs not enter the 
water, because both are the Nagas' domain^. The "jewel which 
grants all desires", which was guarded by the Naga maidens 
but forgotten in their terror for the Garuda spell, is nothing but 
the "Nyo-i hoju", $P ^ ^ ^, mentioned in the Chinese and 
Japanese legends. The same story teaches us that children of 
men and Nagi (Naga women) are "of a watery nature", and 
cannot stand sunshine or wind, but are happiest when playing 
in the water '. 

So far the Jatakas of Cowbll's edition. It is a strange fact 
that in all these tales no mention is made of the Naga's nature 
of god of clouds and rain, although this is the main reason why 
the Chinese identified him with their dragon. In the legends, 
translated from the Chinese Tripitaka by Chavannes *, however, 
so much stress is laid on the rain giving capacity of the Naga, 
that we need not doubt as to its predominance in Northern 
Buddhism. 

From the Lalita vistara ^ we learn that in the fifth week after 
reaching perfect Enlightenment the Buddha went to lake Muci- 
linda, and the Naga king of the same name, who resided there, 
came out of the water and with his coils and hoods shielded 
the Lord from the rain for seven days, whereafter he assumed 
the shape of a youth and worshipped the Great Being. In the 
Mahavagga •> the name of the lake and the Naga king is Muca- 
linda, and "in order to protect the Lord against the cold and 
the humidity, he seven times surrounded him with his coils and 
extended his hood over him". According to Hardy' "in the sixth 
week, he went to the lake Muchalinda, where he remained at 



1 P. 97. 

2 Cf. Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 163, where king Bimbisara, hearing that 
a mysterious being (the Bodhisattva) was seen, is said to have ordered his courtiers to 
watch him when he should leave the town. "If he be a demon, he will vanish ; if he 
be a deva, he will ascend into the sky; if a Naga, he will descend into the earth". 

3 P. 82. 

4 Cinq cents contes et apologues extraits du Tripitaka chinois (1910). 

5 Ch. XXII; Chavannes also refers to the Yoga sutra,'Sect. Ill, 18, 19 and 49; cf. 
Kebn, Manual of Indian Buddhism, pp. 21 seq. ; Oldenbebg, Buddha, p. 136. In 
painting and sculpture the Buddha is frequently sitting under the extended hood of 
the Naga (Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 182; Grvu'WEHEL, Mythologie des Buddhis- 
mus in Tibet und der Mongolei, p. 110, Fig. 87 and 88). 

6 I, 3, quoted by Kern, Hisloire du Bouddhisme dans VInde, Annales du Mus6e 
fi„;.v,„t Y ^^ YTT Vr.} T V. fiA ma\ 



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the foot of a midella tree. At that time rain began to fall, 
which continued for seven days, without intermission, in all the 
four continents. The naga Muchalinda having ascended to the 
surface of the lake, saw the darkness produced by the storm; 
and in order to shelter Budha from the rain and wind, and 
protect him from flies, mosquitoes, and other insects, he spread 
over him his extended hood, which served the purpose of a canopy". 

It is highly interesting to compare with these passages the 
version of the same legend, found in the Chinese Tripitaka '. 
There he is said to have gone to Mucilinda's river (not lake) 
immediately after having reached Enlightenment, While he was 
sitting under a tree, his brilliant light penetrated into the Naga's 
palace, just as in former times his three predecessors of this kalpa 
had spread their light, sitting on the same spot. The Naga, delighted 
to see the new Buddha's light, arose from the water, and, sur- 
rounding the Lord with seven coils, covered him with his seven 
heads (not hoods). " The Naga, delighted, caused wind and rain for 
seven days and nights'''' 2. All that time the Lord sat motionless, 
protected by the royal snake, the first of all animals to be con- 
verted. This legend is to be found in the Luh-tu tsih king, ^ nr 
143 of Nanjo's Catalogue, translated by Seng-hwui *, who died 
A.D. 280 ^ 

The same work contains many jatakas, in which the Nagas are 
frequently mentioned, sometimes in company with ^akra, Brahma, 
the four devarajas and the gods of the earth ". One day, when 
the Bodhisattva and Ananda were Nagas in order to complete 



1 Chavannes, 1. 1., Vol. I, Ch. VI, p. 275 sqq., nr 76: Tokyo ed. of the Tripitaka 
(1880—1885), VI, 5, pp. 82 sq.; great Japan, ed., in Leiden and in the India Office, 
Ch. VI, pp. 15 sqq. 

^ H§ -^ 'f^ S, i^ Hj "kl S^ ■ Chavannes translates: "Pour s'amuser, 
la naga dechaina le vent et la pluie" I should prefer : "The Naga, delighted, caused 
wind and rain". He was delighted because he could shelter the Lord from the wind 
and rain caused by himself. He did not think of amusing himself. But the main point 
of the question is the fact that the Naga in this version is said to have caused the 
wind and the rain himself, while the other versions only state that there was wind 
and rain. 

3 -J- & ^ J^ , "Collected sijtras on the six Paramitas". Chavannes first thought 
that these siitras had been collected by Seng-hwui himself (Vol. I, p. 1, note 1), but 
afterwards felt inclined to believe that it is a translation of one Sanscrit text 
(Introd., p. HI). 4 -f^ 1^ . 

5 Nr 680 of Nanjo's Catalogue, partly translated by Beal under the title of '^Ro- 
mantic legend of Sakya Buddha", does not contain this legend. 

6 Cf Chavannes, I.I., Vol. I, Chap. V, pp. 160 sq., nrs 43 and 44; Trip. VI, 5, p. 
69 ; great Jap. ed. of Leiden, nr 143, Ch. V, pp. 5a, 6a. 



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12 

the expiation of their former evil deeds, "expanding their 
majestic spirit, they made heaven and earth shake ; they raised the 
clouds and caused the rain to faW '. And vs^hen Devadatta v^as a 
terrible Naga, "he expanded all his force; lightning and thunder 
flashed and rattled'" ^. 

The Kiu tsah f%-yu ling ^ "Old (version of the) Samyuktava- 
dana sutra" (miscellaneous metaphors), translated in the third 
century A. D. by the same Seng-hwui (Nanjo's Catalogue, nr. 1359) 
in some of its apologues mentions the Nagas as bringers of rain. 
Such a being by its rain made the dike, along which a (jramanera 
carried his master's rice, so slippery that the man repeatedly 
tumbled down and dropped the rice into the mud. His master 
summoned the Naga, who in the shape of an old man prostrated 
himself before the Arhat and invited him to dine in his palace 
all the days of his life. The Arhat accepted this offer and daily 
flew with his bed to the Naga's palace, after having entered 
abstract contemplation. But his pupil, anxious- to know- from 
where his master had got the splendid rice grains which he 
discovered in his almsbowl, hid himself under the bed and 
clinging to one of its feet arrived with the Arhat at the Naga's 
abode. The latter, his wife and the whole crowd of beautiful 
women respectfully saluted the (jramana and the Qramanera, but 
the latter was warned by his master not to forget, that he, the 
(jramanera himself, was a must higher being than the Naga, 
notwithstanding all the latter's treasures and beautiful women. 
"The Naga", said he, "has to endure three kinds of sufferings: 
his delicious food turns into toads as soon as he takes it into 
his mouth; his beautiful women, as well as he himself, change 
into serpents when he tries to embrace them ; on his back he 
has scales lying in a reverse direction, and when sand and 
pebbles enter between them, he suffers pains which pierce his 
heart. Therefore do not envy him". The pupil, however, did not 
answer; day and night he thought of the Naga and forgot to 
eat. He fell ill, died and was reborn as the Naga's son, still more 
terrible than his father, but after death became a man again *. 

^ W^Mil$^R^^^^:^#I^M- Great Jap. ed. of Leiden, nr 
143, Ch. V, p. 196; Chavannes, Vol. I, Ch. V, p. 181, nr 48; Trip. VI, 5, p. 71. 



2 



*i 



f I KP e^ ^ » S.'^mm- ^^'^^ ''^P" ^^- °^ Leiden, nr 143, Ch. VI, p. 
27a; Ohavannes, Vol. I, Ch. VI, p. 254, nr 70; Trip. VI, 5, p. 78. 

4 Chavannes, 1.1., Vol. I, nr 94, pp. 358 sqq. (Trip. XIX, 7, p. 19; great Jap. ed. of 



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Another time the Buddha's disciples are compared to a great 
Naga who liked to give rain to the earth, but, fearing that the 
latter might not be able to bear the weight of the water, 
decided to make the rain fall into the sea '. 

In the Tsah pH-yu king ^, a work from -the Korean Tripitaka, 
not to be found in Nanjo's Catalogue (for nr 1368, which bears 
the same title, is a different work) we find the following Naga 
tales. A Naga ascended to the sky and caused abundant rains to 
fall: for the devas they brought the seven precious things, for 
mankind fertilizing water, and for the hungry demons a great 
fire which burned the whole of their bodies ^ 

Another Naga who by means of a single drop of water could 
give rain to one or two or three kingdoms, nay to the whole 
Jambudvlpa, placed it in the great sea that it might not dry up *. 

An exorcist of Nagas went with his pitcher full of water to 
the pond of such a being and by his magic formulae surrounded 
the Naga with fire. As the water of the pitcher was the only 
refuge the serpent could find, it changed into a very small 
animal and entered the pitcher ^. 

Here we see the Nagas not only as rain gods, but also as 
beings wholly dependent on the presence of water and much 
afraid of fire, just like the dragons in many Chinese and Japanese 
legends. 

With regard to the precious pearls in the possession of the 
Nagas as gods of the waters, we may mention a tale to be 
found in the Mo ho seng chi lilh " or "Discipline of the Maha- 
samghikas" (nanjo, nr 1119), translated in 416 by Buddhabhadra 
and Fah-hien '. There we read about a Naga who wore a necklace 
of pearls, which he liked so much that he preferred it to his 
friendship towards a hermit. The latter, daily tortured by the 
Naga's coils, wound around his body, succeeded in getting rid 



1 L.I., Vol. I, nr 138, p. 410 (Trip. XIX, 7, p. 24). 

2 ^ ^ t^^) '^^- Chavannes, 1.1., Vol. II, p. 1, note 1. Both this work and 
the Chungking chwen tsah pH-yu king, ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 1^ ^ (Nanjo, nr 
1366) are said to be compiled by the bhiksu Tao Liou, ^ ^ , but are probably 
two diffei-ent editions of his work; Kumarajiva seems to have translated Tao Lioh's 
work in 401 A. D. 

3 Chavannes, 1.1., Vol. II, nr 167, p. 23 (Trip. XIX, 7, p. 3). 

4 L.I., Vol. II, nr 193, p. 63 (Trip. XIX, 7, p. 8). 

5 L.I., Vol. II, nr 179, p. 42 (Trip. XIX, 7, p. 5). 

6 ^ ^ f^ jflft ^ ' Mahasamghika vinaya. 

7 Nanjo, Catal, App. II, nrs 42 and 45. 



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of him only by asking hira for the precious necklace '. Also the 
Chinese dragons were said to have pearls at their throats. 

The Avadana-qataka, a hundred legends translated from the 
Sanskrit by LfoN Feeii ^ contain a few passages concerning the 
Nagas. The most important one is the 91*1^ legend ^ where 
Suparni, the king of birds, is said to have seized from the ocean 
a little Naga, which after having been devoured was reborn as 
Subhuti and by following the Buddha's teachings reached Arhatship. 
He remembered to have had five hundred rebirths among the 
Nagas on account of a long row of wicked thoughts in previous 
existences. Now he used his supernatural power to convert both 
Nagas and Garudas by protecting the former against five hundred 
Garudas and the latter against a gigantic Naga, which he caused 
to appear. In this way the law of love was taught them, and 
they followed his teachings. 

In another legend * a Brahman is said to have been reborn as 
a Naga because he had broken his fast; seven times a day a 
rain of burning sand came down upon him till he succeeded in 
keeping a special fast. Then, after having died with abstinence 
of food, he was reborn in the TrayastriniQat heaven. 

In a third passage ^ Virupaksha, one of the four guardians of 
the world, who reigns on the West side of Mount Meru, is said 
to be surrounded by Nagas (his subjects, who live in the West). 

Finally, the Nagas are mentioned among the divine beings 
who came to worship the Buddha: Qakra, the king of the gods, 
ViQvakarma and the four great kings surrounded by Devas, 
Nagas, Takshas, Gandharvas and Kumbhandas '^; another time 
they are enumerated as follows: Devas, Nagas, Yakshas, Asuras, 
Garudas, Kinnaras and Mahoragas '. 

In AyvAGHOSA's Sutralainhara ®, translated into French from 
Kumarajiva's Chinese version by Edouard Huber, 'the Nagas are 
often mentioned. "When the great Naga causes the rain to fall, 
the ocean alone can receive the latter; in the same way the 



\ Chavannes, 1.1., Vol. II, nr 355, p. 319 (Trip. XV, 8, p. 44). 

2 Annales du Musie Guimet, Tome XVIII (1891). 

3 Pp. 366 sq. 4 Nr 59, pp. 327 sqq. 5 Nr 19, p. 83. 
6 Nr 12, pp. 57 sq. 7 Nr 17, p. 77. 

8 Kumarajiva translated this collection of tales about A.D. 410; the original Sanskrit 
text is lost, except some fragments, which, according to Huber, show that Kumarajiva 
not always understood the text. Huber's translation is based upon the Tokyo edition 
of the Tripitaka (XIX, 4). It is nr 1182 of Nanjo's Catalogue, entitled -f;* St ^ 

Wgff ZS^^ l!A 11 ± l_j._J . TIT_1_— 1 1_ — .-_ .— i_-_ I __ 



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Samgha (alone) can receive the great rain of the Law" '. When 
a merchant, Kotlkarna by name, visited a town of pretas, these 
hungry demons uttered a long complaint, which contains the 
following verse : "When on the mountains and valleys the Heavenly 
Dragons (the Nagas) cause the sweet dew to descend, this changes 
into bubbling fire and spouts upon our bodies" \ "Elapatra the 
Nagaraja, having violated the commandments by maltreating the 
leaves of a tree, after death fell among the Nagas, and none of 
the Buddhas has predicted the time when he shall be able to 
leave them" ^ 

"The tears (of those ^ho, on hearing the Law of the twelve 
Nidanas, are moved by pity and weep with compassion) can 
entirely destroy the Naga Vasuki who exhales a violent poison" ^. 

"The Eaksasas and the Pigacas, the evil Nagas and even the 
robbers dare not oppose the words of the Buddha" ". 

An evil Naga guarded a big tree which stood in a large pond, 
and killed all those who took a branch or a leaf from it. When 
the bhiksus came to hew down the tree in order to build a 
sttipa, the people and a brahman warned them not to do so on 
account of the danger, but the bhiksus answered: "With regard 
to the poisonous Naga, you, brahman, glorify yourself. But we 
rely upon the Naga of men (the Buddha), and, placing our trust 

in Him, glorify ourselves Among all the poisonous Nagas, 

for this Naga king you show yourself fall of respectful thoughts. 
The Buddha is sweet and calm. He is the King of all beings, 
it is Him whom we revere, the Perfect one, the Bhagavat. Who 
would be able to subdue the poisonous Naga, if not the Buddha's 
disciples?" Then they cut down the tree, and, to the astonish- 
ment of the brahman, no clouds, no thunder, no miraculous signs 
bore witness to the Naga's wrath, as had formerly been the case 
even when one leaf of his tree was taken by a human hand °. 
The brahman, after having uttered his amazement and anger. 



i Ch. I, nr 3, p. 30; great Jap. Ti-ipitaka of Leiden, nr 1182, Ch. I, p. 19: 

2 Ch. IV, nr 10, p. 100; great Jap. Trip, of Leiden, nr 1182, Ch. IV, p. 3a. 

3 Ch. Ill, nr 11, p. 64; great Jap. Trip, of Leiden, Ch. Ill, p. 2a. 

4 Ch. VIII, nr 45, p. 215; great Jap. Trip, of Leiden, Ch. VIII, p. 2a. 

5 Ch. IX, nr 52, p. 255 ; great Jap. Trip, of Leiden, Ch. IX, p. 6a. 

6 Ch. XV, nr 80, p. 447; great Jap. Trip, of Leiden, nr 1182, Ch. XV, p. 21o. 

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because he tKought that they had used magic incantations, fell 
asleep, and in a dream was addressed as follows by the Naga: 
"Be not angry ; what they did was done to show me their vene- 
ration. They have neither despised nor wounded me, for my 
body supports the sttipa; moreover, the tree has become a 
beam of the stupa, and I can protect it; the stupa of the DaQa- 
bala, of the Exalted one, should I ever have been able to protect 
it (if not in this way)? . . . There was still another reason, why 
I had not sufficient power (to resist the Buddha). I am going 
to tell you this reason, listen attentively: Taksaka, the Naga 
king, came here in person and took possession of this tree ; 
could I protect it? Elapatra, the Naga king, himself came to 
this spot with Vaiijramana: was my power sufficient to resist 
those Devas and Nagas, full of majesty?" When the Brahman 
awoke, he became a monk. 

This remarkable story shows us the Naga as an inhabitant of 
a pond, but at the same time as a tree demon, in which function 
we often found the serpent in Chinese and Japanese tales, but 
never in Indian Naga legends. As a rain and thunder god he is 
said to produce clouds and thunder when he is angry. Taksaka 
and Elapatra are mentioned here as the mightiest of the Naga 
kings, and VaiQramana, the guardian of the North, king of the 
Yakshas, is probably confounded with Virupaksha, the guardian 
of the West, king of the Nagas. The whole legend is a typical 
specimen of the way in which Buddhism subdued the other cults. 

After having learned the Naga's nature from these Buddhist 
writings which made him known in China and Japan, we may 
venture one step into another direction, in turning to the Katha- 
saritsagara or "Ocean of the streams of story". This "largest and 
most interesting collection" of tales was composed by the Kashmi- 
rian court poet Somadeva, "one of the most illustrious Indian 
poets" ', in the eleventh century of our era ^ .but the original 
collection, its source, entitled the Brhatkatha, is must older, and, 
according to Prof. Speyer ^, "must have been arranged in that 
period of Indian history, when Buddhism, exercised its sway over 
the Hindoo mind side by side with 9aivism and so many other 
manifold varieties of sectarian and local creeds, rites and theoso- 
phies". "The main story and a large number of the episodes are 



1 Cf. Speyer, Studies about the Kathasaritsagara, Verhandelingen der Koninldiike 
Akademie van Wetenschappen te Amsterdam, Afd. Letterkunde, Nieuwe Reeks Deel 
VIII, n» 5 (1908); p. 2. 



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^aiva tales, as was to be expected from ihe supposed first narra- 
tor being no other than the Supreme God giva himself" \ Next 
to legends of the Buddhists even mythological narrations from 
the Vedic age are to be found in this work, smaller collections 
being incorporated into it 2. Among the great number of interesting 
legends, contained in the Kathasaritsagara, translated by Tawney 
(1880 — 188i), there are several in which the Nagas play a more 
or less important part. 

The first thing which strikes us is the total absence of passages 
devoted to their capacity of giving rain. Combining this with 
the same observation made above with regard to the jatakas 
of Cowell's edition, we feel inclined to believe that this part of 
the Nagas' nature has been particularly developed by the Northern 
Buddhists, The original conceptions regarding these semidivine 
serpents, living in the water or under ihe earth, seem to have 
attributed to them the power of raising clouds and thunder, and 
of appearing as clouds themselves, but not as rain giving beings. 
It is, of course, a very obvious conclusion that cloud gods pro- 
duce rain, but it. seems that this idea, which made them the 
benefactors of mankind, first rose in the minds of the adherents 
of the Mahayana school. According to the original ideas, on the 
contrary, they seem to have only given vent to their anger in 
terrifying mankind by means of dense clouds, thunder and earth- 
quakes. Highly interesting in this respect is the following story, 
to be found in the Kathasaritsagara ^ 

In the Vindhya forest in the northern quarter there was a 
solitary aQoka tree, and under it, in a lake, stood the great 
palace of a mighty Naga king, Paravataksha by name, who obtained 
a matchless sword from the war of the gods and the Asuras. 
In order to get this sword an ascetic, assisted by a prince and 
his followers, threw enchanted mustard-seed upon the water, 
thus clearing it from the dust which concealed it, and began to 
offer an oblation with snake-subduing spells. "And he conquered 
by the power' of his spells the impediments, such as earthquakes, 
clouds, and so on. Then there came out from that acjoka tree a 
heavenly nymph, as it were, murmuring spells with the tinkling 
of her jewelled ornaments, and approaching the ascetic she pierced 
his soul with a sidelong glance of love. And then the ascetic 
lost his self-comraand and forgot his spells; and the shapely fair 
one, embracing him, flung from his hand the vessel of oblation. 



1 Ibidem. 2 Ibidem. 

3 Ch. LXX, Vol. II, p. 149 sq. 
Verb. Kon. Akad. v. Wetenseh. (Afd. letterk.) N. R. Dl XIII, N° 

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And then the snake Paravataksha had gained his opportunity, 
and he came out from that palace like the dense cloud of the day 
of doom. Then the heavenly nymph vanished, and the ascetic 
beholding the snake terrible with flaming eyes, roaring horribly \ 
died of a broken heart. When he was destroyed, the snake lay 
aside his awfril form, and cursed Mrigankadatta (the prince) and 
his followers, for helping the ascetic, in the following words : 
'Since you did what was quite unnecessary after all coming here 
with this man, you shall for a certain time be separated from 
one another'. Then the snake disappeared, and all of them at 
the same time had their eyes dimmed with darkness, and were 
deprived of the power of hearing sounds. And they immediately 
went in different directions, separated from one another by the 
power of the curse, though they kept looking for one another 
and calling to one another". 

Nagas injuring the crops are mentioned in another passage, 
where Svayamprabha, queen of the Asuras residing in Patala 
land, "makes herself surety (to king Merudhvaja) that the Nagas 
shall not injure the crops" ^. The seven Patalas are the nether- 
world ', the *home of the serpent race below the earth" *, but 
also the Asuras, "who escaped from the slaughter in the great 
fight long ago between the gods and asuras", had fled to Patala-^ 
and lived there. As to the Nagas having their abode in Patala 
land, we may refer to the following passages of the Kathasarit- 
sagara. "On the extreme shore he set up a pillar of victory, 
looking like the king of the serpents emerging from the world 
below to crave immunity for Patala" ". "Do you not remember 
how he went to Patala and there married the daughter of a 
Naga, whose name was Surupal"' When Kadru and Vinata, two 
wives of KaQyapa, had a dispute as to the colour of the Sun's 
horses, they made an agreement that the one that was wrong 
should become a slave to the other. Kadru, the mother of the 
snakes, induced her sons to defile the horses of the Sun by 
spitting venom over them; thus they looked black instead of 
white, and Vinata, the mother of Garuda, king of birds, was 
conquered by this trick and made Kadru's slave. When Garuda 
came to release her, the snakes asked the nectar from the sea 
of milk, which the gods had begun to churn, as a substitute, 



1 This is probably thunder and lightning. 

2 Ch. CXIX, Vol. II, p. 551. 3 Vol. II, p. 549, note \. 

A Vnl T n -18.^ nnlfi .S. ^ PV, PYVITT \T,.i tt „ ton 



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and Garuda went to the sea of milk and displayed his great 
power in order to obtain the nectar. "Then the god Vishnu, 
pleased with his might, deigned to say to him: 'I am pleased 
with you, choose a boon'. Then Garuda, angry because his mother 
was made a slave, asked a boon from Vishnu — 'May the snakes 
become my food' ". Vishnu consented, and Garuda, after having 
obtained the nectar, promised Indra to enable him to take it 
away before the snakes should have consumed it. He put the 
nectar on a bed of Kucja grass and invited the snakes to take 
it there after having released his mother. They did so, and 
Garuda departed with Vinata, but when the snakes were about 
to take the nectar, Indra swooped down and carried off the vessel. 
"Then the snakes in despair licked that bed of Darbha grass, 
thinking that there mi_ght be a drop of spilt nectar on it, but 
the effect was that their tongues were split, and they became 
double-tongued for nothing. What but ridicule can ever be the 
portion of the over-greedy? Then the snakes did not obtain the 
nectar of immortality, and their enemy Garuda, on the strength 
of Vishnu's boon, began to swoop down and devour them. And 
this he did again and again. And while he was thus attacking 
them, the snakes in Patala were dead with fear, the females 
miscarried, and the whole serpent race was well-nigh destroyed. 
And Vasuki the king of the snakes, seeing him there every day, 
considered that the serpent world was ruined at one blow: then, 
after reflecting, he preferred a petition to that Garuda of 
irresistible might, and made this agreement with him — 'I will 
send you every day one snake to eat, king of birds, on the 
hill that rises out of the sand of the sea. But you must not act 
so foolishly as to enter Patala, for by the destruction of the 
serpent world your own object will be baflSed'. When Vasuki said 
this to him, Garuda consented, and began to eat every day in 
this place one snake sent by him: and in this way innumerable 
serpents have met their death here". Thus spoke a snake, whose 
turn it was to be devoured by Garuda, to Jlmutavahana, "the 
compassionate incarnation of a Bodhisattva" ', son of Jimutaketu, 
the king of the Vidyadharas on Mount Himavat. And Jlmuta- 
vahana, "that treasure-house of compassion, considered that he 
had gained an opportunity of offering himself up to save the 
snake's life. He ascended the stone of execution and was carried 
off by Garuda who began to devour him on the peak of the 
mountain". At that moment a rain of flowers fell from Heaven, 



1 Vol. I, p. 174. 

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and Garuda stopped eating, but was requested by Jlmutavahana 
himself to go on. Then the snake on whose behalf he sacrificed 
his life, arrived and cried from far; "Stop, stop, Garuda, he is 
not a snake, I am the snake meant for you". Garuda was much 
grieved and was about to enter the fire to purify himself from 
guilt, but following Jimutavahana's advice determined never 
again to eat snakes, and to make revive those which he had 
killed. The goddess Gauri by raining nectar on Jlmutavahana 
made him safe and sound, and Garuda brought the nectar of 
immortality from heaven and sprinkled it along the whole shore 
of the sea. "That made all the snakes there (whose bones were 
lying there) rise up alive, and then that forest, crowded with 
the numerous tribe of snakes, appeared like Patala come to behold 
Jlmutavahana, having lost its previous dread of Garuda" '. 

Patala-land, the seven under-worlds, one of which was called 
Kasatala ^ (sometimes equivalent to Patala) ', was inhabited by 
Nagas, Asuras, Daityas and Danavas (two classes of demons 
opposed to the gods and identified with the Asuras). There were 
temples of the gods (Qiva*, Durga ^, the ' Fire-god "), worshipped 
by the demons. As to its entrances, these are described as moun- 
tain caverns ' or "openings in the water" ®; or wonderful flagstaffs 
rising out of the sea with banners on them showed the way 
thither ^. Sometimes human kings were allowed to visit this 
Fairy land. Chandraprabha e.g., after having offered to Qiva and 
Rudra, with his queen and his ministers, with Siddharta at their 
head, entered an opening in the water pointed out by Maya, and 
after travelling a long distance, arrived there ^''. And king Chan- 
dasinha with SattvaQila plunged into the sea and following the 
sinking flagstaff reached a splendid city ". Also king TaQahketu, 
after diving into the sea, suddenly beheld a magnificent city, 
with palaces of precious stones and gardens and tanks and wishing-^ 
trees that granted every desire, and beautiful maidens '^ This 
agrees with the description of the Naga palaces which we found 
in the Jatakas. 

A temple of Vasuki, the king of the snakes, is mentioned in the 

1 Ch. XXII, Vol. I, pp. 182 sqq.; cf. Ch. XC, Vol. II, pp. 312 sqq. 

2 Vol. I, p. 417; II, 544. 3 II, 185, note 4. 

4 II, 198, in the form of Hatakegvara. We read on p. 109 of the Sang hyang 
Kamahayanikan, an interesting old-Javane.se text translated by J. Kats, that Igvara 
Brahma and Vishnu by order of Vairocana filled heaven with gods, the earth with men, 
and the nethei-world (Patala) with Nagas. 5 II, 267. 6 II 547. 

7 I, 446. "There are on this earth many openings leading to the lower regions", 

ri. -197. 8 T. 417. 9 IT 9fi0 A(\ 1 AAI tA tj oen 



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same work '. There was a festive procession in his honour, and 
great crowds worshipped him. His idol stood in the shrine, which 
was Ml of long wreaths of -flowers like serpents, "and which 
therefore resembled the abyss of Patala". To the South of the 
temple there was a large lake sacred to Vasuki, "studded with 
red lotusses, resembling the concentrated gleams of the brilliance 
of the jewels on snakes' crests; and encircled with blue lotusses, 
which seemed like clouds of smoke from the fire of snake poison ; 
overhung with trees, that seemed to be worshipping with their 
flowers blown down by the wind". 

Other passages relate about Nagas assuming human shapes ^, 
either to escape Garuda (who in this work is always mentioned 
as one .being), or to embrace a Nagi. In the former case Garuda 
himself persecuted the Naga in human form, in the latter the 
snake-god, discovering that he was deceived by his wife during 
his sleep, "discharged fire from his mouth, and reduced them 
both (her lover and herself) to ashes". 

§ 3. The Naga aa a giver of rain, 

We have seen above that the Naga's capacity of raising clouds 
and thunder when his anger was aroused was cleverly converted 
by the Mahayana school into the highly beneficient power of 
giving rain to the thirsty earth. In this way these fearful ser- 
pents by the influence of Buddha's Law had become blessers of 
mankind. It is clear that in this garb they were readily identi- 
fied with the Chinese dragons, which were also blessing, rain 
giving gods of the water. 

The four classes into which the Mahayanists divided the 
Nagas were: 

1 . Heavenly JSTagas ( ^ f | ), who guard the Heavenly Palace 
aud carry it so that it does not fall. 

2. Divine Nagas (jji| f|), who benefit mankind by causing the 
clouds to rise and the rain to fall. 

3. Earthly Nagas (J^ f|), who drain off rivers (remove the 
obstructions) and open sluices (outlets). 



1 Ch. LXXIV, Vol. II, p. 225. Vasuki is also mentioned Vol. I, p. 32, where 
KIrtisena, his brother's son, is said to have married Crutartha, the daughter of a 
Brahman. His daughter Ratnaprabha is mentioned Vol. I, p. 544. He cursed a Naga 
king who had fled from battle, Vol. II, p. 171. The serpent Vasuki served as a rope 
with which to whirl round mount Mandara, when the sea was churned and produced 
Qri or Lakshmi, Vol. II, p. 568, note 1. 

2 Ch, LXI, Vol. II, p. 54; Ch. LXIV, Vol. II, p. 98. 



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4. Nagas who are lying hidden ('f^l^fl), guarding the trea- 
suries of the "Kings of the Wheel" C|^ 3£ , CakravartT-rajas) 
and blessing mankind '. 

The TaiheiW^, a Japanese work, relates an Indian tale in 
which a Dragon (i. e. "Naga) king is said to have caused rain. A 
sien (f[lj, the Chinese equivalent for a wonder-working ascetic), 
annoyed by this, caught all big and small dragons of the inner 
and outer seas, and shut them up in a rock. Owing to their 
absence not a drop of rain fell for a long time, and the crops 
were spoiled by the heavy drought. Then the king, moved with 
compassion for his people, asked his advisers how this ascetic's 
power could be broken and the dragons let loose. The answer 
was, that a beautiful woman could seduce him and thus put a 
stop to his magic capacity. So the King despatched the greatest 
beauty of his harem to the cottage of the ascetic, who immediately 
fell in love with her and, losing his supernatural power, became 
an common man and died. The dragons, no longer under his 
influence, flew away to the sky, and caused the winds to blow 
and the rain to fall. 

A passage from Jin-Ch^au's Buddhist Kosmos ^, dealing with the 
Naga kings, and translated by Beal in his Catena of Buddhist 
scriptures from the Chinese'^, mentions four siitras, one of which, 
the Mahamegha sutra, shall be treated below in § 4. As to the 
Lau-Tdn{^) sutra, the title of which is not explained by Beal, 
so that we know neither the Chinese characters nor the Sanscrit 
equivalent, this sutra is said there to contain the following passage : 
"To the North of Mount Sumeru, under the waters of the Great 
Sea, is the Palace of Sagara Nagaraja, in length and breadth 



1 Cf. the Japanese Buddhist dictionary Bukkyo iroha jiten, ^^ ^^ Y O 1/^ 
^ M., written in 1901 (sec. ed. 1904) by Miuka Keksiike, ^ 7^ ^ Hj^ , Vol. 
II, p. 56 s. V. ^1 ; the Chinese work TsHen kHoh kii lei shu, y® S^ M ^S 9 1 
written in the Ming dynasty by Ch'en Jen-sih, |^ 'fl! ^ • The same Chinese work 
enumerates as follows the three sorrows (^^>) of the Indian dragons: 

1. Hot winds and hot sand, which burn their skin, flesh and bones. 

2. Sudden violent winds, which blow away the palaces of the dragons and "make 
them lose their treasures, clothes, etc., so that they can no longer hide their shapes. 

3. Golden-winged bird-kings (Garuda kings) who enter the dragons' palaces and 
devour their children. 

2 -^ ^ m , written about 1382, Ch. XXXVII, p. 6. 

3 Fah-kai-on-lih-to ( 1^ Si , Fah-kai is Dharmadhatu). 



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80000 yojanas; it is surrounded by precious walls, a beautiful 
railing, garden and parks, adorned with every species of decora- 
tion". This Sagara, one of the eight Great Naga kings mentioned 
above, apparently obtained the principal rank among the rain 
bestowing Nagas of the sea, worshipped by the Northern Buddhists. 

From the Saddharma smrtyupasthana sutra ', which Beal, 
without giving the Chinese title, wrongly calls Saddharma Prahasa 
sasana sutra, but which I found in Nanjo's Catalogue sub nr 
679, Beal quotes the following passage: "Down in the depths 
of the Great Sea 1000 yojanas is a city named Hi-loh, its length 
and breadth 3000 yojanas; it is occupied by Nagarajas. There 
are two sorts of Nagarajas: 1. Those who practise the Law of 
Buddha; 2. Those who do not do so. The first protect the world; 
the second are opposed to it. Where the good Nagas dwell it 
never raius hot sand, but the wicked Nagas are subject to this 
plague, and their palaces and followers are all burned up. Whenever 
men obey the Law, and cherish their parents, and support and 
feed the Shamans, then the good Nagarajas are able to acquire 
increased power, so that they can cause a small fertilizing rain 
to fall, by which the five sorts of grain are perfected -in colour, 
scent, and taste .... If, on the contrary, men are disobedient to 
the Law, do not reverence their parents, do not cherish the 
Brahmans and Shamans, then the power of the wicked dragons 
increases, and just the opposite effects follow; every possible 
calamity happens to the fruits of the earth and to the lives 
of men". 

Finally, the Buddhavataksaha mahdvaipulya sutra ® contains a 
large number of interesting passages with regard to the Nagas 
as gods of clouds and rain. Beal translates as follows: "In the 
midst of the Palace of the Naga-raja Sagara there are four pre- 
cious gems, from which are produced all the gems of the Ocean. 
Here also is the Palace of Jambuketu, the Naga-raja's eldest son ; 
also the palace of Vasuhi Naga-raja, and eighty myriads of other 
Dragons, each having his separate palace". 

'^There are five sorts of Dragons: 1. Serpent- dragons; 2. Lizard- 
dragons; 3. Fish-dragons; i. Elephant-dragons; Toad-dragons". 



1 JE ^ ± ^ ^ (N^^^^°' "^ 679). 

2 Nanjo, nrs 87 and 88: 'f^'^ ^'^^^^^ ''**. Mahavaipulya Bud- 
dhavatamsaka sutra ; nr 87 is translated by Buddhabhadra ( ^ ^ , who worked 
A. D. 398—421, cf. Nanjo, Appendix II, nr 42, p. 399) and others; nr 88 is a later 
and fuller translation by QikshInanda, A. D. 695—699. 



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"Sagara Naga-raja, assuming the appearance of Maheshvara, 
exerting his great strength, mightily assists all sentient creatures. 
His influence extends from the four continents up to the Para- 
nirmita VaQavartin Heaven. He spreads out the clouds diversified 
vsrith every colour, excites the varied brightness of the lightning, 
causes the changing peals of thunder, raises propitious breezes, 
distils fertilizing showers. But though this Naga-raja is well affected 
towards men, the good principles which prevail in the world 
are the real source of propitious rain falling. Again it is said 
that Anavataptd Naga-raja raises the widespreading vapoury clouds 
which cover Jambudvipa and distil soft and nourishing rain, 
causing- the various herbs and grains to spring up and flourish, 
and the fountains and rivers to swell with refreshing streams". 

Beside in this passage translated by Beal the same sutra often 
mentions Sagara and the other Naga-kings as givers of rain. In 
the Chinese translation of the -end of the seventh century A. D. 
(Nanjo, nr 88) we read e. g. : "Further, there are innumerable 
Great Naga-kings, called Virupaksha, Sagara, etc. etc. . . . , who 
by raising the clouds and diffusing the rain put an end to the 
vexations caused to all living beings by burning heat" \ 

"When the Great Sea-Naga-king (Sagara) sends down the rain, 
He (the Enlightened One) can separately count the drops, and 
in one thought make out (their number)" ^. 

Comparisons especially, mostly in stanzas, of the rain -giving 
Naga kings to Buddha and his Law, are very numerous I 

"The Supreme Naga king Sagara, when raising the clouds- 
covers the whole earth and distributes the rain over all places, 
and in his heart there is but one thought — so do also the 
Buddhas, the Kings of the Law: great clouds of compassion 
spread everywhere, and, on behalf of all those who practise 
religious austerities, rain down on each and on all without 
distinction" *. 

"Like Anavatapta Nagaraja sends down the rain everywhere 
on Jambudvipa and thus can cause all the plants and trees to 
shoot up and grow, and it (the rain) does not con^e forth from 
his body but from his heart — in the same way also the 



mm^ mmifim^m^^mmmi^.^^-^'P- 

18a, 6. 2 Ch. XV, p. 18&. 

3 Cf. Ch. XV, p. 216; XVII, 19a; XXXVIII, 226;'xLII, 6b, 156; LI, 116; LII, 16- 
LII, 36; LXXX, 22a. 



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beautiful words of the Buddhas everywhere rain upon the Universe 
(Dharmadhatu)" '. 

Thus this sutra is a striking evidence of the great blessing 
power attributed by Northern Buddhism to the Naga kings as 
givers of rain. 

§ 4. Sutras recited in rain ceremonies- 

The most important of the siitras, recited by" the Northern 
Buddhists for causing rain in times of drought, is the Maha- 
megha sutra, "The Sutra of the Great Cloud". Nan jo's Catalogue 
of the Buddhist Tripiiaka contains four Chinese translations of 
this text: nrs 186—188, and 970. The titles of the translations 
are a little different from one another ^ but the original work 
is the same. Jnanagupta translated it first between A. D. 557 
and 581 (nr 187), and a second time between A. D. 589 and 
618 (nr 186). In A. D. 585 another translation was made by 
Narendrayaqas (nr 188). Nr 970, which has the same Chinese 
title as nr 188, is a later translation. The Sanskrit text still 
exists, and an extract of it is given by Bendall, in the Journal 
of the Royal Asiatic Society^; this agrees with nr 186, while 
Beal, in his Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese, gives 
an abstract of nr 188. According to Db Groot* the sutra was 
translated by Amoghavajra, the second patriarch of the Yoga 
school in China, disciple of Vajrabodhi (the first patriarch of the 
same school, who in 719 arrived in China). This is apparently 
nr 970 of Nanjo's Catalogue, designated as "a later translation". 

From Bendall's extract we learn that the contents of the 
Mahamegha sutra are as follows. "On one occasion the Venerable 
One dwelt in the palace of the Snake-Kings Nanda and Upananda, 
in the summer pavillion of the circle of mighty clouds filled with 



1 Ch. LI, p. \\h. 

2 Nr 186: "^ ^~^ '^ ^ -j%^^ ^ ^^ "Mahavaipulya Great Cloud 
sutra, for asking rain": 

Nr 187: -js^ ^ m pS ^i "Great Cloud sutra for asking rain"- 

Nr 188: "T^ ^ Ijm im R^ ^, -'Great Cloud- wheel" sutra for asking rain". On 
p. 116 of the Chinese text we find the name of the Tathagata "Great Cloud- wheel". 
Bendall (p. 303) translates "great cloud-circle", but |^ is wheel. 

Nr 970: same title as nr 188. 

3 New Series, Vol. XII (1880), pp. 286 sqq. 

4 Le Code du Mahayana en Chine, Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van 
Wetenschappen, Afd. Letterkunde, Deel I, n° 2 (1893), Ch. fill, pp. 1-48 sqq. 

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precious gems and jewels, accompanied by a mighty assemblage 
of bhikshus, and by a mighty assemblage of bodhisattvas, and a 
mighty host of kings, to wit, Nanda the Snake King, and Upa- 
nanda (here follows a list of 185 snakes) \ attended, I say, by 
84 hundreds of thousands of millions of krores of snakes assem- 
bled and seated together"; All the Nagas saluted the Lord, bending 
their clasped hands towards him, whereupon they stood on one 
side and made supplications. "Let us worship, let us reverence, 
esteem, honour the samudras (infinite numbers) of Bodhisattvas .. . 
riding upon the sea-clouds, immeasurable and innumerable, with 
samudras of cloud-bodies" . Then the "Great Supreme King of 
Snakes" asks: "How, Venerable One, may all the troubles of 
all the snakes subside; (and how) may the}'' (thus) gladdened and 
blessed, send forth rain-torrents here, seasonably for JambudvTpa; 
make all grasses, bushes, herbs, forest-trees to grow; produce 
all corn; give rise to all juices, whereby the men of Jambudvlpa 
may become blessed?" The Master answers, that all the troubles 
of the Nagas may subside and they may be reborn in the 
Brahma-world by exercising charity. Further, they must put into 
action the Sarvasukhandada dharani, and repeat the names of the 
Tathagatas, "whose families and races are sprung from the one 
hair-tip of Vairocana, speedy producers of happiness [consisting of] 
a circle of clouds". Here follows a large number of names of 
Tathagatas, among which in the Chinese text ^ such are found 
as: "Tathagata who stores up the great clouds" ^, "Tathagata the 
displaying of whose nature sends forth the clouds" *, "Tathagata 
who holds in his hands (and directs) the clouds and the rain"^, 
"Great raisgr of the clouds" ", "Great disperser of wind and 



1 Among these Naga-kings the Chinese text gives names as: Moon-cloud, Sea-cloud, 
Great Cloud-receptacle (store-house), Nsga-king who sends down the rain, Naga-king of 
Cloud? and Rain, Great Rain, King of Clouds, etc. ( EI §& y^ ^& -j^ ^& S^ 

W M ft i ^ # PM fi 3E . :A M . ® 3E)- 0" P- 2« of nr ISS we 

find the Naga-king Kumbhira (Crocodile) (^ \Sf^ ^ ^g ^ ), i.e., as Beal {Catena, 
p. 423) rightly remarks, the well-known god Kompira of Japan. When at the Restau- 
ration the Shintoists reclaimed all their temples from the Buddhists, they wrongly 
declared Kompira to be an obscure Shinto deity, called Kotohira, and thus took possession 
of all the shrines of this Naga-king, the protector of sailors and of those who travel on sea. 

2 P. H sq. 



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clouds" \ "Great cloud wheel" » etc. «By the utterance of these 
names of Tathagatas, snake-king, all woes of all snakes are 
set at rest, and [though] fraught with ills they create here in 
Jambudvlpa showers in season and for a season, and make all 
grass, shrubs, herbs, forest-trees, and corn to grow". At the 
request of the Naga king the Buddha utters a Dharanl called 
Mahakarunodbhava, "which causes rain in time of drought and 
checks excessive rain", and invokes the Nagas: "0 mighty snakes, 
bring rain here by the appointment of the truth of all Devas, 
hail! By the appointment of the truth of Brahma, rain here in 
Jambudvlpa, hail!" 

Then follow prescriptions for the Great Cloud-circle (or ivheel) 
rite. "He who desires a mighty rain must perform this rite in 
an open space, overspread by a blue canopy, shaded by a blue ban- 
ner, on a clear spot of earth; (being) a prophet of the Law, 
seated on a blue seat, fasting according to the ashtanga, with 
well-washed limbs, clad in pure raiment, anointed with fragrant 
odour, wearing the three white stripes, he must recite it for a 
day and night continuously facing the east; he must place four 
full vessels, filled with pure blue water, after prayers to the 
Tathagatas also, according to his power, an oblation, and flowers 
and odours; then the prophet of the Law, after having painted 
towards the four quarters with liquid cow-dung on a reed, in 
the eastern quarter three hastas high must depict the snake-king 
called TriQirshaka (Three-crested), with cow-dung : in the southern 
quarter him called PancaQirshaka (Five-crested) five hastas high; 
in the western, seven hastas high, SaptaQirshaka (Seven-crested); 

in the northern, NavaQirshaka (Nine-crested), nine hastas high 

Afterwards, at a season of drought, he shall recite this chapter, 
' The Great-cloud-circle', for one day or for two, until it needs 
shall rain seven nights". 

Then by numerous invocations the snake kings are summoned. 
On p. 309 we read that this "Whirlwind" chapter, also called 
"The Heart of all Serpents" must be recited by the prophet of the 
Law, after three snake kings with their retinues having been 
painted with cow-dung for thrice seven days uninterruptedly: 
a triple-crested one in the East, a seven- crested one in the West, 



1 ■k^M.WiiaM- 

2 "^h ^ ffi^ -fyfj 5J5 . Cf. the name of the sutra itself: "Great Cloud wheel sutra 
for asking rain", translated by Nanjo into, "Sntra on asking rain of the Great 
Cloudwheel". 

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and a nine-crested one in the North. "A blue canopy and blue 
dress, blue banner (are to be used) and all the offering is to be 
made blue". "The cloud-raonarehs too must be depicted, emitting 
a shower, and rubbing against one another; at the end masses 
of rain-birds and lightning are to be painted", and offerings of 
parched rice, fish, flesh and honey-food without curds must be 
made. After all these preparatory measures the prophet of the 
Law, pure and clad in pure raiment, must recite this "Whirlwind" 
chapter, "the Heart of Snakes". 

Bkal ' gives a short abstract of this sutra (nr 188), as he found 
it in the Chinese Tripitaka. Of the great Naga kings enumerated 
in the beginning the third one is Sagara ^ the principal sea god 
of Chinese Buddhists, who often called him simply "The Sea- 
dragon-king". By this name he is also indicated in the titles of 
the two sutras nrs 456 and 457 of Nanjo's Catalogue ^ The fourth 
Naga king, Anavatapta *, was well-known in Japan, as we will 
see below ^ To him nr 437 of Nanjo's Catalogue is devoted 
(translated A. D. 308) ". In the fifth place the Naga king Manasvin ' 
is mentioned. Then follows Varuna ', the Naga king, different 
from the deity of this name, called in China the Deva of the 
Water ", which name reminds us of the famous SuitengU '" of Tokyo. 
Professor Speter had the kindness to point out to me that in 
the Mahcivastu ", where the Buddha blesses Bhallika and Trapusa, 
among the protectors of the West Virupaksha, the.Nagas and 
Varuna are mentioned. As to Virupaksha, one of the four guar- 
dians of the world, he is the sovereign of all the Nagas. Varuna, 
the Brahmanic god of heaven, is at the same time the regent 



1 A catena of Buddhist scriptures from the Chinese (1871), p. 419 sqq. 

2 The first and second are Nanda and Upananda. Sagara is written ^fe ^M ^S , 

cf. EiTEL, Sanskrit-Chinese dictionary, s. v. (there wrongly ''^ instead of ^^). 

3 Nr 456 : -^ g^ |^ ^^ ^ ^ , "Buddhabhashita Sagara Nagaraja sutra". 

Nr 457: '^ ;^ '^ f| 3E |§; ^ f jl ^ ' "^"'^™ °" *^^ ^^^' "^ *^® ^^"^' 
spoken by Buddha for the sake of the NSga-king Sagara". 

5 Book II, Ch. Ill, § 4. 

6 Anavatapta nagarSja pariprkkha si5tra. The Chinese title is quite different. 

7 ^ ^p Wr . Cf. EiTEL, 1.1. s.v. Manasa, where Manasvin is wrongly said to be 
the tutelary deity of lake Manasarovara (in Tibet identified with lake Anavatapta, cf. 
Kawaguchi, Three years in Tibet, Ch. XXVI, pp. 139 sqq.).- 



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of the sea, and, as one of the eight Lokapalas, guardian of the 
West '. It is remarkable that there were apparently two beings 
of the same name, both deities of the water and of the West, 
Varuna the deva and Varuna the Naga king. 

After Takshaka \ Dhrtarashtra ' and Vasuhi *, of whom the first 
and the third both belong to the eight great Naga kings of 
Northern Buddhism ^, Mucilinda ", also called Mahamucilinda, 
who, as we have seen above, protected Qakyamuni during the 
seven days of meditation, and Elapatra % who consulted the 
Buddha about rebirth in a higher sphere, are enumerated, followed 
by 176 others. 

The same Naga kings, except Mucilinda and Elapatra, are 
mentioned in the so-called Anumantrana, an invocation of the 
Nagas found in the Bower MS. from Mingai, about which R. 
Morris® writes the following: "As regards to the contents of the 
MS., fol. 3 apparently contains a charm which is intended to 
force the Nagas or snake-deities to send rain. The mutilated 
line 1 enumerates, it would seem, various plants which are to be 
used as ingredients for an oblation. Line 2 gives the Mantra for 

the oblation The end of line 2 and the following lines to 

the end of the page contain the so-called Anumantrana, a further 
invocation of the snake-deities, intended to propitiate them by a 
declaration of the worshipper's friendly relations with various 
individual Nagas. This snake-charm, which appears to be Buddhistic, 
was probably composed in Southern India. For it mentions *the 

district on the banks of the Gola', i. e. the G-odavari The 

language o'f this piece is the incorrect Sanskrit, mixed with Prakrit 
forms, which is' common in the Buddhist works of' the early cen- 
turies of our era, as well as in the Buddbist and Jaina inscrip- 
tions of the same period". 

Morris compares the list of names found in the Anumantrana, 



1 Cf. ElTEL, 1.1., s.v. 

3 t^ ^ Jll B"E ' ^^^'^ <^^"^ hi™ Ditaraksha, but Morris writes Dhritarashtra 
(Dhrtarastra). 

5 See above p. 4, cf. pp. 20, 21, 23. 

' PM^^^ (Elapatna). 

8 Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1891—3, pp. 63 seqq.. Notes and queries by the 
Rev. R. Morris, nr 44. Cf. the Wiener Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 
Vol. V, nr 2. 

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each time preceded by the words *1 keep friendship with", with 
those mentioned in the Great Cloud-wheel Rain-asking sutra in 
Seal's Catena, those found in the Saddharma Pundanha sutra 
and those of Southern Buddhism. Nanda and Upananda, Anava- 
tapta, Takshaka, Dhrtarashtra and Virupaksha are mentioned in 
all these lists, Sagara (wrongly called Samharaka in the Mingai 
MS.) in the three former, as well as Vasuki, while Varuiia and 
Manasvin are not found in the Lotus and in Southern Buddhism. 
Further, the MS. gives several other names, as Nairavana, Krshna, 
Grautamaka, Mani, Dandapada etc. Dhrtarashtra and Virupaksha 
are the regents of the East and the West, and also Naga kings; 
as to Nairavana, this is, according to Morris, perhaps Vaicravana, 
the regent of the North. Krshna and G-autamaka are mentioned 
in the Divyavadana as two Naga kings. 

Prof. De Groot ' gives a very interesting description of the 
whole rain ceremony, as it is performed in Chinese Buddhist 
monasteries in times of drought, by order of the authorities or 
of influential laymen. An altar is erected, mostly in the court-yard 
before the great temple of the Triratna, but sometimes at the 
foot of the mountain on which the monastery is situated; there 
a Kwan-yin temple is often appointed for these ceremonies and 
for the prayers for rain, sent up by the mandarins and the 
people. Once or twice De Groot saw a shrine dedicated to Sagara 
Nagaraja, the special sea-god of the Chinese Buddhists; it was 
opened only in time of drought. 

The altar corresponds with the prescriptions of the sutra, 
mentioned above ^ On the gates of the four sides dragons are 
painted, two on each, with their heads turned to the inside. 
The cow dung of the Hindus is replaced in China by a yellow 
reddish clay, which is used for adorning the platform inside the 
enclosure. The estrade upon this platform is covered with blue 
silk, as well as the tables for the sutras, utensils, offerings, and 
the chairs of the performing monks, of whom the leader looks 
to the East, the others to the North and South. 

According to De Groot, the colour blue is chosen in China 
because this is the colour of the East, from where the rain must 
come; this quarter is represented by the Azure Dragon, the highest 
in rank among all the dragons. We have seen, however, that 



1 Code du Mahayana en Chine, Ch. VIII, pp. 148 sqq. 

2 Of. also nr 177 of the Supplement of the Tripitaka (third volume of bundle 3), 
p. 380 6 : -Jr ^ ^ iiflf 15^ 1® ^ , "Doctrine concernina the altar for nra vino- fnr 



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the original sutra already prescribed to use the blue colour and 
to face the East. Moreover, the Azure Dragon has nothing to 
do with Buddhism. The Chinese Buddhists only copy an ancient 
Indian rite. Indra, the raingod, is the patron of the East, and 
Indra-colour is nila, dark blue or rather blue-black, the regular 
epitheton of the rain clouds '. If the priest had not to face the 
East but the West, this would agree with the fact that the 
Nagas were said to live in the Western quarter and that in India 
the West corresponds with the blue colour. , Facing the East, 
however, seems to point to an old rain ceremony in which Indra 
was invoked to raise the blue-black clouds. 

On the eastern, southern, western and northern tables tablets 
are placed on which the principal dragons of these quarters, 
whose Indian names are mentioned above, are painted, with 
three, five, seven and nine heads instead of the crests or hoods 
of the ISTagas. Often other tablets representing attendants of these 
great dragons stand at their sides. All the dragons have waves 
at their feet and clouds above their heads. Finally, twenty eight 
black poles with long blue flags, each with a burning oil lamp 
between four flower vases filled with fresh flowers, represent the 
twenty eight constellations. We find these twenty eight blue 
banners mentioned on p. 21a of the Chinese text of the sutra 
(Nanjo, nr 186); Bendall's translation of the Sanscrit text, however, 
speaks only of one blue banner ^. De Groot explains the fact that 
all the poles are black by the connection of this colour with the 
North, with Yin and the water I This may be right, as the sutra 
itself does not mention the colour of the poles, so that the Chi- 
nese in this respect could follow their own ideas. 

In the morning of the first day of the ceremonies the leading 
priest with the abbot and the highest authorities of the monastery 
offer incense in the great temple of the Triratna, and, while the 
dharanis of Kwan-yin are recited, the temple and the rain altar 
are purified by sprinkling pure water upon them (as amvta). 
Now the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, dragon-kings and saints may 
descend upon the altar without contaminating themselves. The 
leading monk and the abbot rise from their seats and offer incense ; 
at the same time the choir thrice sings a lamentation about the 



1 Professor Spever had the kindness of pointing this out to me. One of the many 
passages where a blue-black colour is mentioned is Mahabhamfa, Book III, 16, 13. 

2 Pp. 303, 309. 

3 Black horses were the principal offerings to the rain gods of Japan, see below, 
Book II, Ch. Ill, § 2. 



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drought and a prayer for rain, followed by an invocation of the 
Triratna. Then some moments of profound silence allow the offi- 
ciating monk to sink into dhyana and to see by his mental eyes 
the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, dra,gon-kings and saints descending 
and listening to the prayers. On awakening he orders to recite 
seven times the dharani of the "Light-king of the Great Wheel" 
(i. e. the sun), in order to correct the mistakes which might be 
made in the ritual. Thereupon the monks invoke by name all 
the 187 Naga kings mentioned in the sutra and thrice recite the 
first kind of dharams, given by the Buddha to these kings 
according to the same holy text. These magic formulae are accom- 
panied by the sound of vajra bells, and followed by a terrible 
noise of drums and cymbals in order to make them more power- 
ful. Then follows the invocation of all the 54 rain-giving Tatha- 
gatas, enumerated- in the sutra, each monk having a small incense- 
burner in his hand, which they also used in invoking the Naga 
kings. After a second dhyana of the leading monk having rendered 
efiBcacious the second kind of dharani, given by the Buddha and 
recited by the monks in the same way as the former, the cere- 
mony is closed by expressing the hope that the rain may soon 
come, sent by the Triratna and the dragon kings. A little later, 
in the course of the forenoon, the offerings, placed on the altar, 
are solemnly presented to the dragons, and songs and prayers 
are sent up to them, as well as to the Triratna and all the devas. 
Often a paper figure of one of the Taoistic "Celestial Generals", 
with a written request for rain in his hand, is burned, that he 
may take it to Heaven. 

In the afternoon the leading monk with the abbot and as 
many other monks as they want take their seats upon the altar 
and recite the Great-Cloud-Wheel stitra. All these ceremonies are 
daily repeated till it rains sufficiently. If the drought lasts too 
long, Kwan-yin's dharams and prayers for rain are continued 
night and day, small groups of monks relieving one another in 
all the buildings of the monastery. The main point of the ceremony 
is the purity of the altar and of the priests themselves ; for the 
drought, like all calamities caused by some crime of men, can only 
be stopped by pure ceremonies performed by pure priests. Especially 
because they never eat animal food, the monks are religiously 
cleaner and therefore much more able to make rain than laymen. 

As to the ceremonies for stopping too abundant rains, called 
"praying for good weather" ', these are described by De Groot 



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in the same chapter. The same stitra may be used, because it 
has the power of ruling the rain, but these ceremonies are seldom 
performed on such an extensive scale. As a rule a yellow paper 
. tablet with an invocation of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who 
reside above the rays of the sun and are mentioned in the 
"Sutra of the vajra brilliant flames (the beams of the sun), which 
puts a stop to wind and rain" ', is erected in the hall of the 
Triratna and offerings are made to them. Then Kwan-yin is 
invoked and this Bodhisattva's dharanis are recited, or those of 
the "Medicine-Master, Tathagata of the liu-li (one of the sapta- 
ratna, probably the bluish precious stone called vaidtirya) light" ^ 
i. e. the sunlight, and the latter's name is invoked a thousand 
times. De Groot explains this Medicine-Master to be the oriental 
Sun, who cures Nature and drives away all illnesses caused by 
the demons of Darkness. His cult, the counterpart of that of 
Amitabha, the occidental Sun, is based upon a stitra, which we 
find mentioned in Nanjo's Catalogue sub nr 171 \ This Tathagata 
is the well-known Yakushi Nyorai of Japan. It is quite clear 
that he is considered to be most powerful in causing the rains 
to stop and refreshing the earth by his rays. Thereupon ^akya- 
muni, the Buddhas who are above the brilliant flames, and all 
the Nagas are supplicated to grant good weather, and besides 
the two former the Medicine-Master and Kwan-yin are each 
invoked thrice in kneeling attitude. Finally, the Buddha, Dharma 
and Sangha are, as always, praised as the refuge of all. The 
same ceremonies are repeated by other monks till the rain stops, 
and then a larger number of them for the last time celebrates 
the rites as a sign of gratitude and satisfaction. 

In Japan, which in summer time has much more to suffer from 



^ ^M^^'^'^'ka^'^M^M^^ Bheshajyaguru vaidurya- 
prabhasa Tathagata purvapranidhana guna sutra, "Sutva on the merits and virtue of 
the original vow of the Medicine-Master, the Tathagata Vaidiirya light; translated by 
HiiEN TsANG, A.D. 650. Of. nrs -170, 172, 173. According to Nanjo, nrs 170, 171 and 
172 are later translations of the twelfth Sntra of nr 167; the main title ofthisworkis 
^^ B^ "^ ^^ TS Jlift 5li '^ ) Buddhabhashita mahabhishekarddhidharani sutra, 
"Siitra on the divine dharam of the Great washing of the top of the head (baptism), 
spoken by Buddha". This is apparently the Kanjo-kyo, |^ J"^ ^ , "Siitra on the 
■washing of the top of the head", recited in the fifth month of A.D. 880 in the Sacred 
Spring Park at Kyoto, for stopping the abundant rains {Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XXXVII, 
p. 541). 

Verh. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensch. (Afd. Letterk.) N. R. Dl. XIII, N" 2. 3 

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continuous and heavy rains than China, ceremonies for stopping 
rain are frequently mentioned in the annals, as we shall see 
below ^ But also rain prayers were very frequent, and the Bud- 
dhist priests eagerly took advantage of the opportunity to surpass 
the Shintoists and extend their sphere of influence. Thus the 
Great-Cloud-Wheel stitra (Nanjo, nr 188), mentioned above, was 
recited by fifteen Buddhist priests in the Sacred Spring park 
{Shinsen-en) at Kyoto, in the sixth month of the year 875 of our 
era ^. At the same time sixty other priests in the Taikyokuden, 
one of the buildings of the Imperial Palace, recited parts , of the 
MahaprajMparamita sUtra ', which is very often mentioned in the 
Japanese annals as having been partly read in rain ceremonies *). 
Sometimes also the Vajra-prajmpdramita sutra ° was used. In the 
fifth month of A.D. 880 the Kanjo-ki/o ", "Sutra on washing the 
top. of the head (baptism)", was recited in the Sacred Spring park 
for stopping the abundant rains. 

Also in China other stitras are used in rain ceremonies, e. g. 
the Vajra-prajnaparamita sutra, the Bucldhabhashita Sugar a Naga- 
raja sutra \ "Sutra on the Sea-dragon-king (i. e, Sagara), spoken 
by Buddha", etc. This is logical, for, as Du Groot ® remarks, 
according to the 39th commandment of the Mahayana code all 
punishments for crimes committed — and drought is such a 
punishment — are to be taken away by reciting the siitras and 
vinayas of the Mahayana. 



1 Book II, Ch. III. 

2 Cf. below, Book II, Ch. Ill, § 3; Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XXVII, p. 414. 

3 3^;^^^) Mahaprajna sutra; Nanjo's Catalogue, nr 1, gives the full 

title: ;;Ar ^^ /^ M ^ ^ ^ IM' ^""^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^ '* ^^^ translated in A.D. 
659 by the famous pilgrim HiiEN Tsang. 

4 Cf. Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XX, p. 335 (sixth month, 871); Ch. XXIII, p. 372, (fifth 
month, 873); Ch. XXV, p. 386 (second month, 874); Ch. XXXII, p. 466 (seventh month, 
877); Ch. XXXVII, p. 543 (sixth month, 880). 

^ ^ iW J^ /^^ ; Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XXIII, p. 372; Nanjo, nrs 10—12. 

® ^ I^ M ' ^^° ^^''^®' P- ^^' "°^s 3; Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XXXVII, p. 541 ; 

Nanjo, nr 167. 

'^ '^ i^ y^fiSE ^; ^f^itJo, nr 456; translated A.D. 265—316. Cf. nr457: 

"^l^'MM ± S§; ^ EP ^' "^"^""^ °" the Seal of the Law spoken by 
Buddha for the sake of SSgara Nagaraja". These siitras were spoken in Sagara's palace 
at the bottom of the sea. 
8 L. 1., p. 156; cf. p. 72. 



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BOOK I. 

THE DRAGON IN CHINA. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE DRAGON IN THE CHINESE CLASSICS. 
§ 1. Yih king. 

The oldest Chinese work which mentions the dragon is the 
Yih Kmg\ We read there the following explanation of the lowest 
line of the first of the diagrams, which corresponds with Heaven : 
"First, nine: a dragon hidden in the water is useless""^. According 
to the comme'ntators the meaning of this sentence is that the 
lowest line of this diagram, representing the dragon lying in the 
deep, is a sign that it is not the time for active doing. Therefore 
Legge ^ translates: "In the first (or lowest) line, undivided (we 
see its subject as) the dragon lying hid (in the deep). It is not 
the time for active doing". This translation is more explicative 
than true, for the text simply gives the words: "First, nine: a 
dragon hidden in the water is useless". As to the word nine, this 
is explained by the commentary entitled "Traditions of Clieng'''''^ 
to mean the "fullness of Yang", because it is three times three, 
i. e. a multiplication of the undividable number which represents 
Yang. As the undivided strokes of the diagrams are symbols of 
Yang and the divided ones of Yin, the meaning of the two first 
words of the sentence is, as Legge translates, that the lowest 
line is undivided. The characters ^ ^ , however, do not mean : 
"it is not the time for active doing", but simply: "useless"^. The 
dragon, symbolized by the lines of the diagram of Heaven, be- 
cause he is the Yang creature xar' sioj^rjv, is represented by the 



1 Book fp^^^t;r4j,ch.i, j^^, ^. 

2 ^7/;^.'/^ti^ffi- 3 Section I, p. 57. 4^^. 

5 Prof. De Gboot kindly pointed out to me the simple and dear meaning of this 
and the following sentences. 

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lowest line as still lying in the depth of the waters. In this 
condition the heavenly giver of fertilizing rains is still useless 
to mankind. This must be the original meaning of these words, 
but the diviners concluded from this useflessness of the hidden 
dragon that one had to abstain from active doing. 

The second line of the same diagram' is explained by the Yih 
king as follows: ^'■Nine, second; a dragon is seen in the rice fields ; 
advantage; a great man will be seen''' '. Legge translates: "It will 
be advantageous to meet with the great man". Although this 
translation follows the commentators, the meaning is clearer if 
we divide the sentence as we have done above. The appearance 
of a dragon in the rice fields gives advantage, i. e. the fertilizing 
rain gives good crops. The original meaning of the character ^|J , 
which consists of rice and a knife, is apparently harvest, which 
was, of course, identical to advantage. Further, "a great man 
will be seen". Here we see the dragon representing great (espe- 
cially holy) men, who are as full of Yang as the dragon himself. 
Even in those olden times his appearance apparently was con- 
sidered to be an omen of the birth of great and holy men, 
especially of Emperors, the holiest men on earth. 

In the third line the dragon is not mentioned, but in the 
fourth we read that he is ^'■perhaps leaping in the pool" (but not 
yet rising above the surface). '"There will be no evil (^)"^. The 
word evil seems to be more logical in a divinatory sentence 
than "mistake". 

The fifth line is described as "A flying dragon in the sky; 
advantage ; a great man will be seen" '. It is, of course, of the 
utmost benefit "to mankind, if the rain-bringing dragon is soaring 
in the sky. At the same time it is an omen of the appearance 
of a great man. 

Finally, the topmost line is explaineU as "The dragon exceeding 
the proper limits (i. e. flying too high). There will be regret" *. 
The simplest explanation of these words is that, if a dragon flies 
too high, he is too far from the earth to return and the rain 
does not reach it, a reason of regret to himself and to mankind. 
At the same time the great man, symbolized by the dragon, 
repents all exaggeration on his part. 





Mm 




^iJ o ^ :^ A 



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37 

The Tih king goes on as follows : « The number nine is used (in 
this diagram). If a herd of dragons is seen divesting themselves of 
their heads, this means good fortune'' '). 

The lowest line of the second diagram, which represents Earth 
(i-^, Kvfun), is explained a.^''^'' Dragons fighting in the open field ; 
their blood is dark (not purple, as Legge translated) and yellow" ^. 
Apparently a thimderstorm, with dark and yellow clouds flying 
through the sky, is described in this way. For in a passage of 
Appendix V of the Tih king ^, ascribed to Confucius, we read : 
"KHen (Heaven) is a horse, Kvfun (Earth) is a cow, Chen {Thunder) 
is a dragon'''^. And, again, in the same Appendix^: "Chen is 
thunder, is a dragon, is dark and yellow" ". The same diagram 
represents also Spring and the Eastern quarter, which are identi- 
fied with the Azure Dragon '. 

In Ch. 1 1 (p. 2) of the Tih king the words "J. dragon lying in 
the deep is useless"" are illustrated by " Tang is beloiv'' ^, whiph 
means: "The Sun is under the horizon, i.e. the dragon lying in 
the deep is as useless as the sun under the horizon. 

In the same chapter (same page) we read: "A dragon is seen 
in the rice fields; blessing power (f^) is spread everywhere""^). This 
is a clear explanation of the word advantage in the above passage 
on the fifth line of the first diagram. 

As to the "Dragons fighting in the open fieW\ in this chapter 
these words are followed by: '•'•Their way (tao) is exhausted" '^^, 
i. e. their blessing actions are completed to the last. As rain is 
the blessing conferred upon mankind by the dragons, this sen- 
tence may easily be explained by the fact that in a thunderstorm, 
when the dragons fight in the sky, the rain comes down in 
torrents. 



1 miio^Mnt^-^^t. 

3 Shwoh-kwa chufen, |^ ^j\ ^ (Ch. 17), p. 12. Legge, Appendix V, p. 429, 
Chapter VIII, 12. 

5 Ch. 17; Legge, p. 430, Ch. XI, 17. 

7 Cf. De Geoot, Rel. Syst, Vol. I, p. 317; III, p. 964, 987. 

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An Appendix of the Yih king ' says : " The hibernating of dragons 
and snakes is done in order to -preserve their bodies'''' ^.' Here we see 
dragons and snakes being closely connected and regarded as 
belonging to the same kind of animals. Also in later times the 
same fact is to be observed. 
P On considering the above passages of the Yih king we arrive 
I at the conclusion that the ideas on the dragon prevailing in 
China at the present day are just the same as those of the remotest 
times. It is a water animal, akin to the snake, which uses to 
sleep in pools during winter and arises in spring. It is the god 
of thunder, who brings good crops when he appears in the 
rice fields (as rain) or in the sky (as dark and yellow clouds), 
in other words, when he makes the rain fertilize the ground. 
But when he flies too high and cannot return, the thirsty earth 
must wait in vain for his blessings, and sorrow prevails. As this 
beneficient being is full of Yang, it symbolizes those among men 
who are fullest of Light, namely great men, and its appearance 
is considered to be an omen of their coming, i. e. of their birth. 
In the first place the greatest and fullest of Tang among them 
all, the Emperor, is, of course, symbolized by the dragon. He is, 
indeed, the representative of Imperial power, as we shall see 
later on. 

j When black and yellow clouds covered the sky, and thunder 

/and lightning raged, the ancient Chinese said, like those of to-day : 

' "The dragons are fighting; look at their blood spreading over 

the sky". And at the same time the heavenly dragons caused 

the rain to pour down upon the grateful earth. 

Even when the dragons were only leaping in their pools, no 
calamity was to be feared, and when a herd of them, even head- 
less, wa3 seen in the sky, this was a felicitous sign. Winter, 
when they hibernate and sleep in pools, is the dry season in 
China. But in spring, in the third of the twenty four seasons 
into which the year was divided even in olden times, the 
"Resurrection of the hibernating animals" ' takes place, and it 
begins to rain a little. In the "beginning of summer" *, however, 
i. e. in the fii'st of the six summer seasons, "the winds arrive 



3 ^ ^i "Resurrection of hibernating animals", is the name of this season; cf. 
De Groot, 1.1., Vol. Ill, p. 968. 



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and the dragons ascend to the sky" \ for this is the time when 
the abundant rains come down, a blessing to mankind. 

§ 2. Shu king. 

In the Shu king * we read the following words of the Emperor 
Shun to Yu: "I wish to see the emblematic figures of the an- 
cients: the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountain, the dragon, 
and the variegated animals (pheasants) which are depicted (on 
the upper sacrificial garment of the Emperor)". So we see that 
even in the early times of Shun's predecessors, i. e. in the days 
of Hwang Ti (who is said to have reigned in the 27th century 
B. C.) and Tao, the dragon belonged to the six symbolic figures 
painted on the upper garment of the Emperor. This was, no 
doubt, due to its blessing power as rain-giving god of thunder 
and clouds. 

§ 3. Li ki. 

The Li H^ says: "What is called the four ling (g)? The 
unicorn, the phoenix, the tortoise and the dragon, thqy are called 
the four ling. As the dragon is considered to be a domestic 
animal, fishes and sturgeons do not fl.ee away" *. Couvreur trans- 
lates ling by : "animaux qui donneht des presages", but it has a 
stronger meaning, as we may learn from De Groot's Religious 
System ^ Therefore I should prefer to translate it by "spiritual 
beings'". The effective operation of the tsing (^) or vital spirit 
of these four creatures is, indeed, enormously strong, and there- 
fore they may be justly called "the four spiritual animals par 
excellence". It is no wonder that their appearance was considered to 



1 Yih w6i, ^ M ^ M M^ ^'' q""*®*^ '" *^^ famous encyclopaedia entitled 
KHn ting ku kin fu shu tsih chHng, ^^"^-^0^^^ (published in 
4725, cf. De Groot, J.l. Vol. I, Introd. p. XXI), which we henceforth, shall quote as 
T.S.J Sect. ^ ^, Ch. 127, ft ^ ^ #' ? ^*= it S M. M WJl f I 

AM ^ . Sect. ^ 5^ , Yih Tsih ; Legge, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. Ill, Part 

II, Book IV, § i, p. 58. 

3 Ch. VII, Li un, jj^ ^ , art. 3, nr 10: Codvreub, Li ki, Vol. I, p. 524. 

^"^m^^k. 5 Vol. ly, p. 12. 

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be an omen, but this was only the consequence of their '^spirituality''' . 

In art. 4 of the same Chapter of the Li ki \ where the halcyon 
days of the holy emperors of antiquity are described, we read: 
"The male and female phoenixes, and the male and female 
unicorns were all in the marshes beyond the city "walls; the 
tortoise and the dragon were in the ponds of the Imperial 
Palace" ^, i. e. the four ling were all in the neighbourhood, 
spreading their blessings over the Palace and the country. 

Further, in another passage of the Li ki, also devoted to the 
ancient sovereigns ^, the following words are to be found : "They 
(the monarchs of old) chose (litt. followed, accommodated them- 
selves to) felicitous places in order to make sacrifices to the 
Emperor of Heaven in the suburbs. The sacrifices ascended and 
reached Heaven. Then phoenixes descended, and tortoises and 
dragons arrived" *. 

Finally; in the first, second and third months of spring ^, "the 
Emperor ascends his carriage adorned with bells, drawn by 
azure dragons ° and carrying a blue banner (j^, ¥i, adorned with 
dragons joined ')". The azure dragon is, as we stated above, the 
symbol of Spring, the season when "thunder resounds, lightning 
begins to flash, and the hibernating animals all move, open their 
doors (i. e. come out of their chrysalides) and begin to come out" ®. 

§ 4, Cheu li. 

We lias;e seen the dragon mentioned in the Shu king among 
the ^twelve jsymbolic ornaments of the adcient sacrificial robe of 

1 ConvREHR, p. 536, nr 16. 

3 Ch. Vm, Li kH, ijjffi ^, art. 2, nr 12; Couvreur, Vol. I, p. 563. 

5 ii/ti, Ch.XXI, Yuehling, ^^, "Monthly Precepts"; Couvreur, I, Ch. IV, pp. 
332 (first month), 340 (second month), 347 (third month) : ^ -?• "SB ^ 

6 Horses higher than eight ch'ih, i.e. 1.60 meter, were called dragons (Couveeur, 
I, p. 333). 

7 Cheu li, ^ jjjS , Section CVun kwan, ^ ^ ; "Spring officials", s. v. ^ '^ ^ 
Sze shang ; Ch. XXVII, p. 24, gives the names of the nine banners ruled by the Sze 
shang, "Banner rulers". "Dragons joined form the kH, tfe, (the second banner)" 



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the Emperor. Further, the Cheu li has taught us (above p. 40, 
note 7) that the banner called ¥i, ^, was adorned with dragons J 
joined (i. e. t5visted_about_eaclLoth^^^^^ The same work ' states the 
following: "In general as tsieh"' (official tablets) of the envoys of 
the Empire, in mountainous countries tiger tablets are used, in 
plain countries tablets painted with human figures, and in watery- 
countries dragon tablets. The tablets are all made of metal" ^ It ^^;'a/ 
is clear why the ornaments of these official tablets were divided 
in this way. For, as the commentator Ching K'ang-ch'ing remarks 
on this passage, "in the mountains are many tigers, in the plains 
many men, and in the waters many dragons"*. Thus the dragon 
symbolized the water. 

A third passage of the Cheu li-', which treats of the Winter 
officials, says that, in painting and embroidering, "Water is repre- 
sented by means of dragons" '^. Cha.o P^uh's ' commentary explains y 
these words as follows: "The dragon is a divine being in the 
water. If one represents water without representing dragons, 
there is nothing to show the divinity of its phenomena" *. As 
to Ching K^ang-ch''ing, he simply states : "The dragon is a water 
creature; it is (depicted or embroidered) on clothes" °. 

§ 5. I li. 

A dragon banner is mentioned in the / li '", where Imperial 
hunting parties are described. We read there: "In the frontier 



1 Section Ti kwan, :^^ '^ , s. v. chang tsieh, ^ ^ , Ch. XIV, p. 39. 

S M f i t o # ^ ifc o 

5 Section Tung kwan, ^ *^ , Ch. XLII, ^ JH fB ^ ft ^^ (painting and 
embroidering) ;^ ^ , || 51 ^ , P- 5& ^ ^]iini- ' 

7 ^ yfi, a commentator of the Sung dynasty. Although only his family name 
is mentioned, and there was another commentator of the same family name, namely 
Chao Kw'ang, ^ ^ , of the T'ang dynasty, probably we have here to do with 
the former. 

iO % ,||, Sect. fP 1^ jjif IE- Ch. X, p. 48a: ^%^ M M. ^ . 






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regions: when a tiger is hit: dragon banner". This is, at least, 
probably the meaning of the very short text. Ching K'ang-ch'ing 
explains it as follows: "'In the frontier regions' (^ is used 
here for J^) means shooting with the rulers of neighbouring 
countries. They paint a dragon on the banner ' ; moreover it is 
a variegated pattern. Tull silk' forms the banner" 2, In hunting 
parties with foreign rulers probably a signal was given with this 
dragon banner when a tiger (the dragon's deadly enemy) was shot. 

The ancient texts referred to in this chapter are short, but 
suflBcient to give us the main conceptions of old China with 
regard to the dragon. He was in those early days, just like now, 
the god of water, thunder, clouds and rain, the harbinger of 
blessings, and the symbol of holy men. As the Emperors are the 
holy beings on earth, the idea of the dragon being the symbol 
of Imperial power is based upon this ancient conception. 

For the sake of clearness the further texts will be treated in 
separate chapters according to the kind of information they give. 
In each chapter, however, chronological order will be observed. 



1 ^M , chen, according to Wells Williams, Diet. s. v. p. 44: "a siliien banner of, 
a reddish color, plain and triangular". 

^& ^ ^ ^M. ( *M ^ ' ''""^ P°^' ^^^' ^'^'=°'''^'"S *° Ching K'ang-ch'ing, in the 
same work, Ch. XXVII, p. 246, "deep red, in accordance with the main colour of the 
Cheu dynasty"). , 



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CHAPTER II. 

DIVINATION. 

§ 1. Iiucky omeus. 

The birt h of great sages j-nd^JEmperors^was. jtreceded bj,ihe 
appearance of^ragp]^Iand-_phoenixes. In the night of Confucius' 
birth (B.C. 551) two azure dragons descended from TEFsKyfand 
came to his mother' s_house_She saw them^in her dream and 
gave birth fo'the great sage '. The biography of the Emperor 
Wu^ the famous man of the Han dynasty (B.C. 140—87), con- 
tains the following passage in regard to his birth: "The Emperor 
Hiao Wu of the Han dynasty was the son of the Emperor King. 
Before he was born the Emperor King dreamt that a red hog 
descended from the clouds and straightly. entered the Ch'ing fang 
koh (Exalted Fragance Corridor). The Emperor King awoke and 
sat down under the corridor.. Actually there was a red dragon. 
It was like fog and in coming darkened the doors and windows. 
When the Imperial harem went to look (what was happening), 
there was above the corridor a cinnabar coloured vapour which 
increased enormously and ^ rose. After the vapour had dispersed 
they saw a red dragon coiling and revolving between the rafters. 
The Emperor King called a diviner, the Old Tao by name, and 
asked him about the matter. The old man said: 'This is a lucky 
omen. This corridor certainly will produce a man who shall rule 
the world. He shall expel the barbarians and thus bring with 
him lucky omens. Therefore he shall be the most glorious ruler 
of the Liu family. But it (may mean) also a great prodigy'. 
The Emperor King ordered the Imperial Consort Wang to move 
to the Exalted Fragrance Corridor, wishing thereby to act in 
accordance with Old Yao's words. Thereupon he changed the 



i Shih i ki, j^ ^ ^g, written by Wang Kia, ^ ^, probably in the 4th 
century ; Ch. Ill, BS ^^ ^ i P- 46- 

2 Wu Ti nei chufen, "'Inner traditions on the Emperor Wu", j^^ 'jS' p3 "^ , 
ascribed to the famous historiographer Pan Ku, ^^ ^ , who died A.D. 92; p, ia. 

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name of the corridor into / Ian' tien, 'Hall of the Florishing 
Orchid' '. After more than ten days the Emperor King dreamt 
that a divine woman held up the sun in both her hands and 
gave it to the Consort Wang. She swallow^ed it, and after fourteen 
months gave birth to the Emperor Wu. The Emperor King said: 
'I dreamt that a red vapour changed into a red dragon. The 
diviners considered this to be a lucky omen; (therefore) he (the 
new-born son) must be called Lucky {hihy". 

One of the ten lucky signs which were seen in the course of 
one day under the reign of Yao, o^e of the five holy Emperors 
of ancient times, was a dragon which appeared in the pond of 
his palace ^. 

" The appearance of yellow or azure dragons, often mentioned 
in the annals ^ was nearly always considered to be a very good 
omen. Only if they came untimely or on wrong places they were 
harbingers of evil, as we shall see below. They were mostly seen 
in the night, spreading a brilliant light all over the neighbour- 
hood. Such a nightly apparition illuminated the palace of Kung 
Sun-shuh * under the reign of the Emperor Kwang Wu (25 — 57 
A. D.). The former considered it such a good omen, that in 25 
A. D. he proclaimed himself Emperor of Shu (White Emperor) 
and changed the name of the era into Lung-Hing ^, "Dragon's 
rise" ". A black, horned dragon was seen one night by Lii Kwang ', 
who lived in the fourth century A. D. Its glittering eyes illumi- 
nated the whole vicinity, so that the huge monster was visible 
till it was enveloped by clouds which gathered from all sides. 
The next morning traces of its scales were to be seen over a 
distance of five miles, but soon were wiped out by the heavy 



1 The orchid being the symbol of harmony, because the Shi king compares the 
dwelling together in harmony of brothers with the smell of orchids; the new name of 
the corridor was still more felicitous than the former. 

2 Shuh i ki, ^ S f ^ i written by Jen Fang, |^ ^ , in the earlier part of 

the 6th century: % % il ^ ^ - + ^f , '§' ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ . 

3 Cf. T. S., Ch. 128, fl ^ ^ |g ^ — , p. 76, 8a, 9; Ch..l29, |g ^ Zl , 
pp. i sq. 

6 Tung kwan han ki, ^ ^ '^ ^E i Ch. XXIII, written in 107 A. D. by Liu 
Chen, ^J j^, and continued in 172 A. D. by Ts'ai Yung, ^S ^ . 

7 H -tS'' ■ cf. Gri.ES. Chin. Bioar. Diet,, s. v.. tin. fiiiFl sn. Tn .^Qfi hn tnnlr tlio etirlo 



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rains. Then one of Lu Kwang's attendants said to him : "A dragon 
is a divine animal and an omen of a man's rise to the position 
of a ruler. So you will attain this rank". On hearing this, Lti 
Kwang was very much rejoiced; and actually he became a ruler 
after some time '. The dragons being such important omens, it 
is no wonder £hat Imperial proclamations often were issued on 
account of their appearance =. 

Finaly, we may quote a divinatory work ^ which says: "When 
the beginning rise of an Emperor or King is about to take place, 
a dragon appears in the Yellow River or in the Loh. All examine 
his head: if the head is black, men are correct; if white, the 
Earth is correct; if red, Heaven is correct"*. 



§ 2. Bad omens. 

A. Fighting dragons. 

From olden times high floods, tempests and thunderstorms 
have been ascribed by the Chinese to dragons fighting in rivers 
or in the air. Although, according to the Yih king '*, "the tao 
of dragons, fighting in the open field, is exhausted", i. e. their 
blessing power makes the rain pour down in torrents, on the 
other hand such severe thunderstorms often cause much damage 
and calamities. Therefore, however welcome a dragon fight in 
the air might be in times of drought, in ordinary circumstances 
the threatening armies in the sky were looked at with great 
fright. Moreover, the people believed the damage produced by 
dragon fights in rivers or in the air to be not limited to the 
actual calamities of the present, but to extend itself to the near 
future, in other words, they were considered to be very bad 



1 Pao F'oh-tsze, jji'g ^[» ^ , written by KoH Hung, ^ "^ i i" the fourth cen- 
tury; ^|» j^, Ch. IV (^ ^). 

2 The Emperor -Wen of the Han dynasty e.g. did so in B.C. 165, Books of the 
Early' Han Dynasty, ^i^ "^ 2(S IB ' ^''- ^^! '^°™P- *^^ Emperor Suen's proclama- 
tion in the summer of B. C. 52 (ibidem, ^ ^ TJS IE' ^''- ^^"' P' ^^''• 

3 The Yih kHen tsoh tu, ^ $t S -K ' '^""^^'^ '" ^^^ '^' ^■' ^^'^^' "^ ^ ' 



Ch. 130, fi^, il ^,P-2&. 

5 See above, p. 37. 

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omens, foreboding inundations, disorder, war, nay even the 
dynasty's fall. As gods of water, clouds, and rain they caused 
high floods by their fights, and as representatives of the Imperial 
power their victory or defeat meant rebellion, war, and even the 
fall of the reigning House. 

According to the Tso chvfen ' a high flood was ascribed to 
dragons fighting in a pool in the nineteenth year of the reign 
of Chao, Duke of Lu (523 B. C). "There were great floods in 
Ch'ing; and [some] dragons fought in the pool of Wei, outside 
the She gate. The people asked leave to sacrifice to them; but 
Tsze-ch^an refused it, saying: "When we fight, the dragons dp 
not look at us. Why should we look at them, when they are 
fighting? If we offer a deprecatory sacrifice to them, they will 
leave their abodes. If we do not seek the dragons, they also will 
not seek us". Then the matter was given up. 

The Yih lin ^ says : "If six dragons have angry fight with one 
another under an embankment, and tJifi_azuxe_a£_yfillow dragons 
do not conquer, the travellers will meet hardships and trouble" '. 
As we have seen above, the azure and yellow dragons especially 
were harbingers of felicity ; so their defeat was a sign of coming 
trouble, probably caused by inundations. 

In regard to impending war and ruin we may quote the follo- 
wing passages from the Histories, 

In the Boohs of the Sui dynasty^ we read: "In the Liang dynasty 
(A. D. 502—557), in the second year of the T'ien kien era (503), 
there were dragons fighting in a pool in Northern Liang province. 
They squirted fog over a distance of 'some miles. As to the evils 
of dragons and snakes the Hung fan lou king dmfen ^ says : 'These 
are trouble and damage of dragons and beasts. That which be- 
longs to Heaven is symbol of the Ruler. If the Heavenly breath 
is injured, and the Tao of the Euler is wounded, also the dragons 
are injured. Their fights are symbols of weapons and shields'. 



1 Legge, Chinese Classics, Vol. V, Part II, pp. 674 sq. (Book X, year XIX). 

2 ^ ;J5|t > a work on divination, quoted by the T. S., Ch. "ISO, ^ ^ ^ ^ , p. 3a. 

4 |5| #, Ch. XXIII, nr 18, ^ fj ,^, ^ "p , p. 17a. 

5 *^ f@ i. tr # ' "^f- "^"^ ^ROOT, Vol. V, p. 491, note 1 : "A work based on 
a section of the Shu king entitled Hung fan or The Great Plan. It seems to have 
been held in great esteem in the sixth century as an expositor of prognostics. It was 
then composed of eleven chapters, -with a commentarv bv Liu Hiancr sn that it mnot 



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King Fang ' says in his Tih fei heu ^ ("Flying observations on 
divination"): 'When the hearts of the multitude are not quiet, 
dragon fights are the bad omens thereof I At that time the 
Emperor for the first time ascended the throne, and there was 
a riot of Ch^en Poh-chi and Liu Li-lien. Danger and fear prevailed 
in the empire". ^ 

The same annals* contain the following passage: "In the sixth 
month of the fifth year of the P\i t'ung era (524 A. D.) dragons 
fought in the pond of the King of K'tlh o (?). They went west- 
ward as far as Kien ling ch'ing. In the places they passed all 
the trees were broken. The divination was the same as in the 
second year of the T'ien kien era (503 A. D.), namely that their 
passing Kien ling and the trees being broken indicated that there 
would be calamity of war for the dynasty, and that it was a 
sign that the Imperial tombs would be destroyed. At that time 
the Emperor considered the holding of discussions to be his only 
task, and did not think of ploughing. His fighting generals were 
careless, his soldiers idle, and the Tao of the Ruler was injured. 
Therefore there was the corresponding fact of the dragons' evil. 
The Emperor did not at all become conscious (of the danger). 
In the first year of the T'ai Ts'ing era (547 A. D.) there was 
again a dragon fight in the waters of Li cheu. The waves seethed 
and bubbled up, and clouds and fog assembled from all sides. 
White dragons were seen running to the South, followed by 
black dragons. That year Heu King came with troops to 
submit, and the Emperor accepted his submission without taking 
precautions. The people of the realm were all frightened, and 
suddenly rebellion a^se. The Emperor in consequence thereof 
had a sad death". He died in 549, and eight years later the 
Liang dynasty came to an end. 

In A. D. 579 a black dragon was killed by a red one. Moreover, 
in the same year there was a fight of a white dragon with a 
black one, the result of which was that the white one ascended 



1 "^ -S , a famous diviner of the first century of our era, author of the Yih 
chw^en; ^ ^ (cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. IV, p. 204) and of the Yihyao, ^ ^ 
(cf. below. Bad omens, D.). 

4 Same chapter, section and page. 

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48 

to the sky and the black one fell on the earth and died *. As • 
black was the colour of the Later (i. e. Northern) Cheu dynasty, 
these dragon fights- were forebodings of its approaching fall, which 
actually took place two years later. 

As to inundations announced beforehand by dragon fights, we 
may refer to the History of the Sung dynasty ^ where we read 
that in the fifth year of the K^ien Tao era (A. D. 1169) such a 
battle in the air was seen amidst a heavy thunderstorm. "Two 
dragons fled and pearls like carriage wheels fell down on the 
ground, where they were found by herdsboys. In the following 
years inundations afflicted the country". 

Sometimes dragon fights are mentioned not as omens, but only 
as causing heavy storms which destroyed a large number of 
houses and government buildings and killed hundreds of people, 
carrying them into the air together with their domestic animals, 
trees and tiles, over a length of more than ten miles. Such a 
storm raged in the fourth month of the ninth year of the Hwang 
t^ung era (1149) above the Yu lin river in Li cheu '. 

Devastation caused by lightning was believed to be the result 
of sacred fire, sent by Heaven to stop dragon fights. "In the 
fifth month of the year yih-wei (probably 1295) on a place near 
the lake at I hing, all of a sudden there were two dragons which 
twisting around each other and fighting both fell into the lake. 
Their length had no sharp limits. In a short space of time a 
heavy wind came riding on the water, which reached a height 
of more than a chang (ten ch'^ih or feet). Theti there fell from 
the sky more than ten fire balls, having the size of houses of 
ten divisions. The two dragons immediately ascen ded (to the sky), 
for Heaven, a fraid that they might cause calamity, sent out 
sacred fire to drive them away. Supposed that Heaven had been 
a little remiss for a moment, then within a hundred miles 
everything would have turned into gigantic torrents. When I 
recently passed by boat the Peachgarden of Teh Ts'ing, those 



1 Wang Shao chw^en, ^ -Sj^ 'jS , "Biography of Wang Shao", Books of the Sui 
dynasty, Ch. LXIX, ^|j ^ , nr 34, p. 2a. 

2 Sect, i ^ ^, (Ch. 61-67): % M ^ ^ -t ^ Z. ^ ^^ 

3 Kin shi, -^ ^, History of the Kin Dynasty (A. D. 1206—1368), Ch. XXIII, 



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paddy fields were all scorched and black, some tens of acres in 
all.' Then we moored the boat to the bank and asked those 
villagers (for the reason). They said: 'Yesterday noon there was 
a big dragon which fell from the sky. Immediately he was burned 
by terrestial fire and flew away. For that what the dragons fear 
is fire' " '. 

B. Dead dragons. 

When dragons, wounded in a battle, tumbled down and died, 
this was believed to be a very bad omen. The Boohs of the Han 
dynasty"^ relate the following: "On the day jen-tsze of the sixth 
month of the seventh year of the Yen-hi era (A. D. 164), imder 
the Emperor Hwan, there was a dragon which died on Mount 
Ye Wang in Ho nei (one of tlie districts of that time). Its length 
was about some tens of chang. Siang K'iai was of the following 
opinion : 'Taking into consideration that the dragon is a felicitous , 
symbol of an Emperor or King, and that the Yih lun ta jen says : 
"In the T'ien-feng era (A. D. 14 — 19) there was a dead dragon 
inl the Hwang-shan palace. The Han troops killed Mang (i. e. the 
Emperor Wang Mang, killed in A. D. 22), and Shi Tsu (i. e. Kwang 
Wu, the first Emperor of the Eastern Han dynasty) rose again 
(ascended the throne, in A. D. 25)", this omen must be a sign 
of change (of the dynasty)'. In the 25th year of the Kien-ngan 
era (A. D. 220) the Emperor Wen of the Wei dynasty replaced 
the House of Han" ^ 



1 Kwei sin tsah shih, ^ ^ ^ ^ (<^^- ^E Groot, Rel. Sijst. Vol. II, p. 399 : 
"a collection of miscellanies written by ChEU MiH, ^ ^ , in the earlier part of the 
fourteenth century), quoted T. S., Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 130, f | ^ ^E ^ H , 

^ gp ffij ^. ^ ^ f^ ^^ ii§ iE«i* 3/c^ ^ . '^ ^^^ 

2 Shuh Han shu, Ch. XVII, Sect. ^ ^ , nr 5, f | ^'^ ^ , P- 2a. 

Verb. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensch. (Afd. Letterk.) N. R. Dl. XIII, N° 2. 4 

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In the fifth year of the Kien-teh era (A. D. 576), under the 
Later Cheu dynasty, a black dragon fell from the sky and died. 
The dragon is the symbol of the Ruler, black was the colour 
of the dynasty, and falling and dying is a most unlucky omen '. 
So it was a foreboding of the -Emperor's death, which happened 
two years later (A. D. 578), and of the dynasty's fall (A. D. 581), 
which was announced also by the dragon fights mentioned above. 

C. Dragons appearing at wrong times. 

When dragons appeared at wrong times, they were forebodings 
of evil instead of omens of felicity. The time is wrong for a 
-dragon to appear, when the Son of Heaven himself does not 
walk in the Tao, thus throwing into disorder both the Tao of 
Heaven and men, ,So did the Emperor K'ung Kiah of the ancient 
Hia dynasty, twenty centuries before Christ. Sze-ma Ts'ien^ says 
the following about this monarch: "The Emperor K'ung Kiah 
having ascended the Throne, loved the matters of the kwei and 
the shen and was disorderly (in his behaviour, i.e. he disturbed 
the Tao). As the virtue of the House of the Hia rulers was 
declining, the feudal lords rebelled against it. Heaven sent down 
two dragons, a female and a male. K'ung Kiah could not feed 
them; he had not yet found the Dragon-rearer Family^. T^ang 
of Tao (i. e. the House of the Emperor Yao) having declined, 
one of his descendants was Liu Lei, who from the Dragon-rearer 
family learned to tame dragons, in order to serve K^ung Kiah. 
K^ung Kiah bestowed upon him the family name of Yil-lung ^ 



1 Books of the Sui dynasty, Sect. ^ ff ^^X #^^^5£^^^ 

mmik%n\^n.m^zwi.mmW{^^.mM 

2 Historical Records, Ch. II, ^ 2JS ^E . Jap- ed. with commentaiies and notes, 

i^ IE b¥ # ( A ^ )^)' ^"l' "' Ch. II, p. 216. Of. Chavannes' translation, 
Vol. I, p. 168. 

3 Hwan-lung shi, ^^ §& ^P . 



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(Dragon-ruler), and he received the succession of Shi Wei. The 
first of the dragons, the female, died, (whereupon) he took it 
and gave it the Emperor to eat. As His Majesty ordered to seek 
(the dragon), Liu Lei got afraid and fled. K'ung Kiah died, and 
his son, the Emperor Kao, ascended the Throne" '. 

A different form of the same legend, according to which K'ung 
Kiah was presented by the Emperor of Heaven with two teams 
of dragons, which were reared by Liu Lei till one of them died 
and was given as food to His Majesty, is to be found in a passage 
of the Tso chvfen, which we will partly quote in Chapter IV § 8, 
in regard to the Dragon-rearer family having been invested with 
this name by the Emperor Shun. As to our present subject, 
however, i. e. -the evil omen of dragons appeai-ing at a time 
when the Tao is violated, we may refer to another passage of 
the Historical Records, where the fall of the Hia dynasty, is 
apparently brought into connection with the appearance of two 
dragons. We read there the following. "In the third year (of his 
reign) (B. C. 779), King Yiu fell deeply in love with Pao Sze ^. 
Pao Sze gave birth to a son, Poh Puh, and King Yiu wished to 
degrade the Crownprince. The mother of the Crownprince was 
the daughter of the Marquis of Chen and was queen. Afterwards, 
when King Yiu had got Pao Sze and loved her, he wished to 
degrade Queen Chen and at the same time send away the Crown- 
prince I Kiu, (in order to) make Pao Sze queen and Poh Fuh Crpwn- 
prince. The great astrologer of Cheu, Poh Yang ', after having 
read the historical records, said: "(The House of) Cheu is lost". 

Now follows the explanation why the astrologer had such 
pessimistic views. Chavannes * points out that the following is 
borrowed from the Kiooh yil ^, one of the many works used by 



^ mm- Mfiit- 

4 Les Mimoires Historiques de Se-ma TsHen, Vol. I, p. 281, cf Introduction, Chap. 
Ill, pp. CXLVII, sqq. 

5 & ^, "Discourses concerning the States", often called the "Exterior Com- 
mentary" on the Ch'un tsHu, and ascribed to the author of the Tso chw'en. 

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SzE-MA Ts^iEN. "In olden times, when the rulers of the Hia dynasty- 
were declining (in virtue and power), there were two divine 
dragons which stopped at the palace of the Emperor and said : 
'We are two rulers of Pao'. The Emperor ttied to find out by 
divination whether he should kill them, send them away or keep 
them, but to none of these questions he received a. favourable 
answer. When he cast lots, however, as to the question whether 
he should request (the dragons) to give him their foam to store 
it away, the answer was favourable. Then a piece of cloth was 
spread and a written communication was offered to them. The 
dragons disappeared and their foam remained; it was put in a 
case and stored away. When the Hia dynasty was lost, this case 
was transmitted to (the House of) Yin ; when (the House of) . 
Yin was lost, it was transmitted again to (the House of) Cheu; 
During these three dynasties no one dared open it; but at the 
end of the reign of King Li it was opened and looked into. The 
foam flew through the palace and could not be removed. King 
Li ordered his wives to undress and to raise cries in unison 
(naked) against the foam. The foam changed into a black lizard * 
and in this form entered the rear departments of the palace (the 
female departments). A young concubine of the seraglio, who had 
reached the age when one loses his milk-teeth (seven years), 
met it. When she had reached the age when young girls put a 
hair-pin in her hair (i. e. the age of fifteen, when they get 
marriageable), she was pregnant. Without having a husband she 
gave birth to a child, which she abandoned with fright. At the 
time of King Silen (King Li's son) a little girl sung, saying: 'A 
bow of wild mulberry wood and a quiver of reed are sure to 
destroy the dynasty of Cheu'. King Silen heard this, and as 
there were a married couple who sold these utensils, he ordered 
them to be seized and put to death. They escaped and being 
on the road saw lying there the child which the young con- 
cubine of the seraglio had just abandoned. They heard it 
crying in the night, pitied it and took it up. The man and his 
wife then fled to (the land of) Pao. The people of Pao, having 
committed some crime, asked for (permission to) present to the 
King the girl whom, the young concubine had abandoned^ in 
order to atone therewith for their misdeed. (Thus) the girl came 
from Pao, and this became Pao Sze. In the third year of King 
Yiu's reign the King went to the seraglio, saw Pao Szg and fell 

1 ^ ^ , hiXen yuen. Chavannes (p. 282, note 5) remarks that yuen, which means 



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in love with her. She gave birth to a son, Poh Fuh. Finally the 
King degraded Queen Chen and the Grownprince, and made Pao 
Sze queen and Poh Fuh crownprince. The Great Astrologer Poh Yang 
said: 'The misfortune is complete; there is no help for it'". Then 
we read that the Emperor, who by all manner of devices tried 
to make the woman laugh, did not succeed until by a false sign 
of an enemy's attack he caused the lords to come up in great 
haste. This made Pao Sze burst into laughter, but it was the 
cause of the King's death and the ruin of the dynasty, for when 
the enemy actually came, the lords, whom the King had deluded 
several times by false alarms, did not come to the rescue. Thus 
the King was killed, Pao Sze was taken prisoner, and the treasures 
of the House of Cheu were all taken by force. Japanese legends 
tell us that Pao SzS was reborn in the twelfth century as 
Tamamo no mae, the Emperor Konoe or Toba's concubine, who 
changed into a fox \ 

It is clear that in the above passages the dragons were harbingers 
of evil, because the Emperors did. not walk in the Tao. 

In A. D. 55-3 a dragon was seen ascending near the Imperial 
Palace, and the next year a huge black serpent rose from the 
Palace moat to the sky, spreading a dazzling light and followed 
by a small snake. Calamity was predicted on account of these 
apparitions, and the Emperor tried to avert the evil by offerings 
of moneys, magic, Buddhist prayers and philanthropy; but it 
was all in vain, for at the end of the same year he was killed ^ 

The History of the Liao dynasty^ says: "[In the first year of 
the rien-hien era (A. D. 926) J the Emperor (rai-Tsu, 907—926) 
stopped at Fu-yu-fu and did not take any precautions. That 
evening a big star fell before his tent, and on the day sin-sze, 
when he captured the castle of Tau-tsze, the Emperor saw a 
yellow dragon coiling and winding, about one mile in length. 
The brightness of its light blinded the eye ; it entered the Imperial 



1 Of. my treatise on 'TAe Fox and the Badger in Japanese Folklore", Transactions 
of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Vol. XXXVI, Part 3, pp. 51 sqq. 

2 The dragons are fond of money, comp. the Japanese work SeiyUki, ^ ^ gg 
(written by Tachibana Nankei, /fi§ ^ ^i in 1795—1797), Zoku Teikoku Bunko, 
Vol. XX, Oh. II, p. 259. This has perhaps something to do with their liking for the 
vital spirit of copper (cf below, Book II, Ch. Ill, § 3). 

3 History of the South {Nanshi, ^ ^ , written by Yen Sheu, ^ ^ , who 

lived in the first half of the seventh century A. D.), Ch. VIII (^ gg, "fC ). 

4 Liao sM, ^ ^, (906-1168), Sect. ^^ jflB. ^fS |E . T ' ^'^^''^su pen ki, 
"Fundamental history of (the Emperor) T'ai-Tsu", Ch. II, p. 6a. 

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lodging house. There was a purple, black vapour which hid the 
sky, remained the whole day, and then dispersed. That very day 
the Emperor died" '. 

Sometimes a dragon's appearance was a sign of impending 
calamity in the form of inundations. Such was the case in A. D. 
967, according to the Books of the Sung dynasty ^ We read there 
the following : "In the summer of the fifth year of the K'ien-teh 
era (967) it rained in the capital, and a black dragon appeared. 
Its tail was on the border of the clouds, and it flew from North- 
west to Southeast. The diviners explained it to be (an omen of) 
big floods. The next year in twenty four prefectures the water 
destroyed the ricefields and the houses" ^ 

D. Dragons ap'pearing in wrong places. 

If a dragon, symbol of Imperial power, is born in a commoner's 
house or comes out of his well, this is a very bad omen for the 
dynasty, the Emperor personally, or one of his feudal lords, for 
it means degradation from the highest dignity to a common 
state, and death of the ruler or of one of his representatives. 

The Books of the Tsin dynasty * contain the following passage : 
"Under the reign of Sun Hao of the Wu dynasty (the fourth 
and last Emperor of that dynasty, A. D. 242 — 283), in the T'ien- 
ts'eh era (A. D. 275 — 276), a dragon was hatched in (the house 
of) a family in Ch^ang-sha, and ate the chickens. King Fang ^ says 
in his Yih yao ° : 'If a dragon is hatched in a man's house, a 



1 ^^^mJu±r>m. m^^i^mmnmM. *a 

2 -tj^ ^, Sung-shu (A. D. 960-1279), Sect. ^^ ^^. 

* W # (^- °- 265-420), Oh. XXIX, nr 19, Sect. S. ift ^ , "fC , p. 24a 

5 ^ ^, the famous diviner of the first century before our era, mentioned above, 
p. 47, note 1. 

fi >a -to. 



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king will become a commoner'. Afterwards Hao submitted to 
Chin (the Chin dynasty) \ 

In the same section of this work '^ we read the following. 
"Under the "Emperor Ming of the Wei dynasty (A. D. 227—239), 
ia the first year of the Ts'ing-lung era (233),. on the day kiah- 
shen of the first month, a blue dragon appeared in a well at 
Mo-p'o (a place) in the suburbs. If only a lucky omen rises 
at a wrong time, it becomes an evil. How much more is this 
the case, when it (the dragon) is in straits in a well! This is 
not a felicitous omen ! ^ It was wrong that Wei on account of 
it changed the name of the era. Yu Pao says: 'From the end of 
the reign ef the Emperor Ming under the Wei dynasty the 
appearances of blue and yellow dragons were signs corresponding 
with the fall and rise of its rulers. As to the fate of the land 
of Wei, blue is the colour of wood and yet it does not conquer 
metal ; it was a sign of yellow getting the throne and blue losing 
it. The frequent appearance of blue dragons means that the 
virtue of the sovereign and the fate of the dynasty are in inner 
conflict with each other *. Therefore Kao Kwei Hiang Kung -^ 
(Ts'ao Mao, A. D. 241 — 260, who in 254 became the fourth 
Emperor of the Wei dynasty) was utterly defeated in war.' " 

"According to Liu Hiang's " explanation the dragon, the symbol 
of dignity, when being imprisoned in a well means calamity 
consisting in a feudal lord being about to be secretly seized. 
In the Wei dynasty there was no dragon which was not in a 
well. It was an omen of the oppressive measures of those men 
who occupied the highest ranks '. The poem on the 'Dragon lying 
in the deep', written by Kao Kwei Hiang Kung, has this meaning". 

The Books of the Early Han dynasty ^ relate the following. "In 



1 ^%m%m^m^-^^'& k^^^k%%m.-^m 

2 ^ ^, Ch. XXIX, nr 19, jR ff ^> ' ±' P" ^^^ (f| ^ Z ¥)■ 

6 ^J [hJ (B. C. 80—9), a famous author and minister, cf. Giles, Biogr. Bid., p. 
50lj nr. liSOO. 

8 Ch. XXVII, Sect, ^ ff ^ . m' '• 

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the second year of the reign of the Emperor Hwei (B. C. 193), 
in the morning of the hwei-yiu day of the first month, there 
were two dragons which appeared in a well at Li-wen-ling (a 
village), east of the palace of Lan-ling. They were seen till the- 
evening of the yih-hai day ; then they went avray. Liu Hiang is 
of the following opinion: 'If a dragon, a symbol of dignity, is 
in straits in the well of a commoner, this means calamity consisting 
in a feudal lord being about to be secretly seized' '. Afterwards 
the Empress-Dowager Lil secretly killed Ch'u, the king of San 
Chao \ and also Lii was finally murdered. King-fang says in his 
Tih chw^en^: 'When those who have virtue meet injuries (i.e. 
are put to death), the bad omens of this are that dragons appear 
in wells'. Further, he says : 'In cases of execution or violent cruelty 
black dragons come out of wells' ". * 

The '^Biography of Chang Wen-piao of Ch'u" '^ gives the following 
tale. "When Wen-piao was going to plot his. rebellion and, still 
being engaged in preparing it, had not yet settled (his plans), one of 
his followers dreamt at night that a dragon was coiling above 
Wen-piao's chin. Wen-piao was very much rejoiced and said T 
'This is Heaven's appointment' (to the Throne, i. e. it is a sign 
that 1 shall ascend the Throne). Then he settled his plans, raised 
troops, and was defeated. Men of knowledge said : 'As the dragon 
is a divine being and yet came out of his chin, this was an omen 
that calamity should be at work and that his shen (soul) should 
go away ' ". " Here again the dragon appeared in a wrong place. 

§ 3. Dragon horses. 
The Li hi ' says : "The Ho (river) sent forth the horse with 



/t la ft ^ IS o 

2 Cf. Giles, 1.1. p. 553, nr 1442, s. v. Lu Hon: "To make the throne secure, she 
poisoned the Prince of Chao, another son of the late Emperor by a concubine"- 

^ M 51 ^ ^ # ' 1"°^«<i T. S. Ch. 129, f I ^ IE * ^ ' P- ^*«- 

7 Legge, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XXVII, Book VII (Li yun), Sect. , IV, nr 16, 
p. 392. CouvREUR, Li ki, Vol. I, p. 536: ^gf Hi iH HI . 



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the map (on his back)". This was the "River Map" from which 
Fuh-Hi fashioned the eight kwa ( A #)> ^^^ diagrams used in 
divination. The Shu king ' mentions this map among the precious 
objects preserved at the Court in B.C. 1079. Legge ^ treats of it 
in his Introduction to the Yi king with regard to the well-known • 
passage of an Appendix of this Classic ^ running as follows: 
"The Ho gave forth the scheme or map, and the Lo gave 
forth the writing, (both of) which the sages copied". According 
to one of the commentators on the Yih king "the water of 
the Ho sent forth a dragon horse; on its back there was 
curly hair, like a map of starry dots. The water of the Lo 
sent forth a divine tortoise; on its back there were riven veins, 
like writing of character pictures" *. This conception, apparently 
based upon the above passage of the Li ki, became common in 
later times, and the 8an ts'ai fu hwui ^ gives a picture of this 
dragon horse. As to the appendix of the Tihking'^, quoted by ^ 
SzE-MA Cheng in the '^Annals of the three sovereigns \ there neither 
the river nor the horse are mentioned, but it is simply stated 
that Fuh-Hi was the first to trace the eight diagrams. 

In the Shui ying fu ^ the following description of a dragon 
horse is given : "It is a benevolent horse, the vital spirit of river 
water. Its height is eight ch'ih five ts'un; its neck is long, and 
its body is covered with scales. It has wings at its shanks, and 
its hair hangs down its sides. Its cry consists of nine tones, and 
it walks on the water without sinking. It appears at the time 
of famous sovereigns". This reminds us of the description given 



1 Legge, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. Ill, Shu king. Part V, Book XXII, p. 239. 

2 Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XVI, Introduction, pp. 14 sqq. 

3 Appendix III, Sect. I, Ch. H, § 73; Legge, I.I., p. 374; Ch. V, ^ ^ _h ■f^ , 

^ H. p 14^= ^rT HI II . "^ HI # . H A |ij :S o 

5 ^ 7^ IBI 1^ 1 written by Wang K'i, ^ j^ . a* ^he time of the Ming 
dynasty. 

6 ^! ^^, Ch. XV, p. 4, Legge's translation, p. 382. 

7 San-htuang pen-ki, H M ^JS IE ( fl ^ IE)' ^^ ^ -^ ^' P' "f^: 

Chavannes' translation. Vol. I, p. 6. 

8 ^ Ifp jgl , written before the Ch'en dynasty (A. D. 557—589) by Sun Jeu-chi, 

•^ ^ ^ ' ^""^ '^"°*®'^ '" *'^® ^''^" "'^""^ ^'' ^ 4* pE (w'"'^^^" ""'^^'" ^^^ 
Ming dynasty by Ch'en Yao-wen, j^ ^ ^X Ch. LV. 



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by K'uNG Ngan-kwoh ' in his commentary on the Shu king ^ which 
runs as follows: "A dragon horse is the vital spirit of Heaven 
and Earth. As a being its shape consists of a horse's body, yet 
it has dragon scales. Therefore it is called 'dragon horse'. Its 
height is eight ch'ih five ts'uu. A true dragon horse .has wings 
at its sides and walks upon the water without sinking. If a 
holy man is on the throne it comes out of the midst of the 
Ming river, carrying a map on its back" ^ 

The T^ung Men tsHen pien luai ki^, which refers to this passage, 
says : "At the time of T'ai Hao (i. e. Fuh-Hi) there was a lucky 
omen consisting of a dragon horse which carried a map on its 
back and came out -of the Ho river. Therefore in giving titles 
to the ofiQcials he began to arrange them by means of the dragon, 
and called them 'Dragon-officers' "^ As to these titles we read 
in the Annals of the Three sovereigns'^: "He (Fuh-Hi) had the 
lucky omen of a dragon ; by means of the dragon he arranged 
the officials and called them 'Dragon-officers' ". The Tso-chvfen ' 
gives the same matter in an extensive passage regarding the 
titles of the officials of the first Emperors. , 

The T^ai-ping yuAan ^ describes a dragon horse which appeared 



1 ^j, •S^ Q , a famous scholar in the reign of the Han emperor Wu (B. C. 
140 — 85), who in B. 0. 97 transcribed the ancient tablets discovered in the wall of the 
house of the Confucian family, and made a commentary on the whole. Cf. Legge's 
Introduction to his translation of the Shu king, Sacred books of the East, Vol. Ill, p. 8. 

2 Sect. ^ ^ ; quoted in the T. S, Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 128, f| ^ |E ^ — , 

^ ffi ^ It li :^ME ' "^'^'^'"^ writings" belonging to the "Preceding part" of 
the Tsze-ehi fung kien kang-muh, ^ Vg ^S ^^ «|^ H , "A chronological survey 
of the Mirror of History, composed to assist Government", an imperial edition of 1707, 
based upon the Tsze-chi f^ung kien written by Sze-ma Kwang, ^ ^E -nj^ , between 
1065 and 1084. It consists of three parts: "^ ^JS , from Yao's time to B.C. 402; 
the main work (B.C. 402— A. D. 960); and the Supplement (A. D. 960—1367). 

6 P.2a;CH^VANNES,Vol.T,p.7: 7^ f I ^ „ fUE W ^ tl ft ^iP » 

7 Book X, year XVII (17th year of Duke Chao); Legge, Chinese Classics, Vol. V, 
Part II, pp. 666 sq. 

^ ";^ ^ f^P ^ ' '"^'^^ ^°^'^ °^ Imperial Autopsy of the T'ai p'ing period", 
composed by an Imperial committee of thirteen scholars under the presidency of the 



■ - rn . 



-Thf ri-+- 



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in A.J). 741 and was considered to be a good omen for the 
Emperor. It was spotted blue and red, and covered with scales. 
Its mane resembled that of a dragon, and its neighing was like 
the tone of a flute. It could cover three hundred . miles. Its 
mother was a common horse which had becorhe pregnant by 
drinking water from a river in which it was bathed. This agrees 
with the statement of the Shut ying fu quoted above about the 
dragon horse being the vital spirit of river water. The same 
horse is described as follows in another work of much later 
date ' : "A horse with dragon scales, the tail of a huge serpent, 
frizzy hair, round eyes and a fleshy crest". When the Emperor 
fled from the capital to the West, this horse entered a river, 
changed into a' dragon and swam away. 

Another dragon horse, which appeared in A. D. 622, had a 
scaly dragon's body, spotted with five colours, and a horse's head 
with two white horns. In its mouth it carried an object about 
three or four ch'ih long. This horse was seen on a river, marching 
about a hundred steps on the surface of the water, looking about 
and then disappearing ^. 

Finally, we may refer to a passage of the Shili i hi ', where 
we read that the Emperor Muh of the Cheu dynasty in the 
thirty second year of his reign drove around, the world in a 
carriage, drawn by eight winged dragon horses *. 

§ 4. Geomaney. 

The so-called fung-shui (JH,;3|C, "wind and water") is a 
geomantical system, prevalent throughout China from olden 
times down to the present age. The tiger and the dragon, the 
gods of wind and water, are the keystones of this doctrine. I 
deem it superfluous to treat of it in extenso, because Professor 



Introd. p. X, this cyclopedia contains only what the Emperor (T^ai Tsung) reserved for 
direct publication, whereas the T'^ai-pHng kwang ki, Hj^ 2pl E sfl ^ "Ample Writings 
of the T'ai-p'ing period", republished about 1566, consists merely of such parts of it 
as were ejected by the Emperor. Ch. 435, quoting the Suen shih chi, *g* ^5 ^^ ^ 
written in the ninth century by Chang Tuh, Hg ge. 

1 The Yuen Men lei han, 7^^^^! written in 1710 by Chang Ying, 
llg ^, and others; Ch. 433. 

2 T'^ai-pSng yu-lan, Ch. 435. 

3 :^ ^ IE' written in A. D. 357 by Wang Kia, ^ ^ I Ch. Ill, p. la. 

4 ^mAMzm. ^^^m. 



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De Groot ' has given already a full account of its origin, elements, 
meaning and influence. "It is", says he, "a quasi-scientific system, 
supposed to teach men where and how to build graves, temples 
and dwellings, in order that the dead", the gods and the living 
may be located therein exclusively, or as far as possible, under 
the auspicious influences of Nature" ^. The dragon plays a most 
important part in this system, being "the chief spirit of water 
and rain" ', and at the same time representing one of the four 
quarters of heaven (i.e. the East, called the Azure Dragon*, and 
the first of the' seasons, spring) ^. "The word Dragon comprises 
the high grounds in general, and the water-streams which have 
their sources therein or wind their way through them. Hence 
it is that books on Fung-shui commonly commence with a bulky 
set of dissertations, comprised under the heading: 'Eules concerning 
the Dragon' (f| ^), in reality dealing with the doctrines about 
the situation and contours of mountains and hills and the direction 
of water-courses" ". 

Finally, we may quote the following passage from the same 
work': "Amoy is unanimously declared by all the wise men of 
the town to be indebted for its prosperity to two knolls flanking 
the inner harbour, and vulgarly styled Ho-fao soa" {^^ |i| ), 
or 'Tiger-head Hill', and Lmg-fao soO" (f|H|JLl), or 'Dragon- 
head Hill'. The latter, which is situated on the opposite shore, 
on the islet of Kulangsu, is crowned with huge boulders poised 
in a fantastic manner, upon which professors have had several 
blocks of granite arranged for the purpose of helping the imagination 
to discover the outlines of a dragon on the spot. The costs of 
these improvements were borne by some well-to-do citizens, 
anxious to promote their own prosperity and that of their fellow 
townsmen". A "Dragon's head Mountain" is mentioned in the 
Sin shi San Ts'in ki^, where we read the following: "The Dragon's 
head Mountain is 60 miles long; its head enters the water of 
the Wei (a large- tributary of the Yellow River), its tail reaches 
the Fan river. The height of its head is 20 chang, the tail goes 

1 Religious System of China, Vol. Ill, Ch. XII, pp. 935—1056. 

2 P. 935. 3 P. 949. 

4 P. 949. The four quarters are called: the Azure Dragon (East), the Red or Ver- 
milion Bird (South), the White Tiger (West) and the Black Tortoise (North) (De 
Groot, 1.1., Vol. I, p. 316). 

5 P. 951. 6 Ibidem. 7 Pp. 959 seq. 

8 ^& ^ ^ ^^ gjj ' "Annals of the three Ts'in states written by Sin", quoted 



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gradually down to a height of five or six chang. It is said that 
in olden times there was a strange dragon which came from the 
southern side of the mountain in order to drink the water of 
the Wei. The course it followed shaped itself into a mountain 
of clay, and therefore (the mountain) was called after it" '. 

As we shall see below ^ also in Japan a great number of 
names of mountains point to the same ideas concerning the 
connection between mountains and dragons. 



1 ^=t^^fl#U4^tH#:v^;*c.s^i:^i:lil, 

2 Book III, Ch. IX, § 2, A. 



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CHAPTER III. 

GENERAL INFORMATION. 
§ 1. Suormous light-giving mountain gods. 

The Shmi hai king ' describes the god of Mount Chung as 
follows: "The god of Mount Chung is called 'Enlightener of the 
Darkness'. By looking (i. e. by opening his eyes) he creates day- 
light, and by closing his eyes he creates night. By blowing he 
makes winter, by exhaling he makes summer. He neither eats 
nor drinks nor does he rest. His breath causes wind. His length is 
a thousand miles. He is in the East of Wu-k'i ('Without bowels'). 
As a living being, he' has a human face, the body of a snake 
and a red colour. He lives 'at the foot of Mount Chung". The 
commentator Kwoh P'oh ^ explains this passage in the following 
words: " 'Enlighten er' is a dragon; he enlightens the nine yin 
(darknesses, i. e. the nine points of the compass at the opposite, 
dark side of the earth, which is a flat disk; these nine points are 
North, South, East, West, North-east, North-west, South-east, 
South-west, and the Centre)". According to the Hwai nan tsze it 
is "a god with a human face and a dragon's body, but without 
legs" \ 

We may quote here a passage from the T^ung ming ki^, a 
work of the beginning of our era, to which De Groot ^ refers 
as follows: "The Thmg ming ki says, that in the year 99 before 
our era the emperor Wu convoked a meeting of magicians and 



zm ^ B mm . M^m. m%^. vk^^ . \>^% 

2 JK ^1 (who died in A. D. 322; author of the Shan hai king t'u tsan, |Jj 

3 ^)Ii^X0f|;^ffij#S>£' Q"°'ed '1 t'^e commentary 1.1. 
4. >)EI ^ =n . Ch. III. 



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learned men, at which Tung Fang-soh spoke as follows: 'I made 
a journey to the north pole, and came to a mountain planted 
with fire, which neither the sun, nor the moon ever illumines, 
but which is lighted to its uttermost bounds by a hlue dragon 
by means of a torch which it holds in its jaws' " '. 

The dragon being full of Yang, it is quite logical that he 
should diffuse light, as we have also seen above (Ch. II, § 1, p. 44). 
The Tih lin ^ says : "A black dragon , vomits light and makes 
Darkness (Yin) turn into Light (Yang)". 

§ 2. Nature of the dragons. 

In KwAN Chung's philosophical work entitled Kioan tsze^, "The 
philosopher Kwan", we read the following: "Those who, hidden 
in the dark, can live or die, are shi (^, a plant the stalks of 
which are used in divination), tortoises and dragons. The tortoise 
is born in the water; she is caused to disclose (what she knows) 
in the fire, and then becomes the first of all creatures, the 
regulator of calamity and felicity. A -dcagon^Jnthe water cov ers 
himself with five colour^'Therefore heis a ^o^T'ijhmfT'^h.Q 
desires to"lTecdme-STirall7 he assumes a shape resembling that of 
a silkworm, and if he desires to become big, he lies hidden in 
the world. If he desires to ascend, he strives towards the clouds, 
and if he desires to descend, he enters a deep well. He whose 
transformations are not limited by days, and whose ascending 
and descending are not limited by time, is called a god {sheny\ 

The philosopher Han Fei * says: "Ah, a dragon, as being an 



2 ^ ;J5ijJ, an old divinatory work quoted T. S., Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 130, f| ^ 

3 ^ jy. , ascribed to Kwan Chung, ^ '^tjt , who died in B. C. 645. Ch, XV, p. 

4- - 39, y^mm-ikmm'^mm-c^mmmMm^o 

4 Han Fei Isze, ^^^ ^ (4th century B. C), Ch. IV, nr \% |^ ||. P- 9" = 

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64 

animal, is so mild, that one may approach him (be familiar with 
him, i. e. tame him) and ride on him. But under his throat he 
has scales, lying in a reverse direction, one ch^ih (foot) in diameter. 
If a man touches them, the dragon is sure to kill him". 

The Classic^ have taiight us that the dragon belongs to the 
four creatures that have the most ling (^), i.e. whose shen 
manifests itself in the most powerful way. The "Rh ya yih ' goes 
further and states that the dragon possesses the most ling of all 
creatures. According to the Shui ying fu ^ "the yellow dragon is 
the quintessence of shen, and the chief of the four dragons. If a 
king does not drain off ponds and lakes, their water can penetrate 
into deep pools, and the yellow dragons, following their nature, 
swim in ponds and lakes". 

Ltj PuH-WEi' relates the following: "Confucius said: 'A dragon 
{lung) eats what is pure and moves about in what is pure *. A 
cM (fk^) eats what is pure and moves about in what is muddy, 
A fish eats what is muddy and moves about in what is muddy. 
Now I, in ascending do not reach the dragon (i. e. I am not 
such a high being as the dragon), and in descending do not 
reach the fishes (i. e. I am not such a low creature as the fishes); 
I am (like) the cW ". 

HwAi NAN TszE ^ g ocs as far as _to_de clare the dragon 
to be the orig in__ of all cr eatures, as we le arn from _ the, 
follow ing passa giZIIilAll__creatures , winged , TSiry, scaly and 



^ ^3 3li ^8 ' *'''® Appendix to the 'Rh ya (a vocabulary probably dating from 
pre-Christian tinaes, cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst. I, p. 302), "a broad elaboration of this old 
dictionary by the hand of Lo Yuen, .^S I^ , who flourished in the latter half of the 
12th century." (De Groot, 1.1. IV, p. 166) ; Section ^f|: ^^MM^ifeo 

2 J^ FfS |§j , written before the Ch'en dynasty (A. D. 557—589) by Sun Jeu-chi, 

^^Z^'-^- Mnt ^«"°^ Dragon: ^ U ^ %^ Z i^ . PIfl 

3 H ^ ;^ 1 the reputed father of Shi Hwang, the founder of the Ts'^in dynasty 
(B.C. 249—206), in his work entitled: Lu-shi cJfun-tsHu, Q _P^ ^fe ^, "Annals 
of Lu", Section -^ ||| . 

5 ^^ ^ •^, "The philosopher of Hwai-nan", i.e. Liu Ngan, ^J ^, (who died 



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65 

m ailed, find their origin in the dragon '. The yu-hia ( ^ ^ ) 
producedr-tfe c flying dragon, tho % Tng"^agon gave birth to the 
phoenixes, and after tl^em the Iwan-niao (^ ,|^) and all birds, 
in general the winged beings, were born successively. The mao-tuh 
(% ^^. "hairy calf") produced the ying-lung (]@f|), the ying- 
lung gave birth to the hien-ma (^ ,i|), and afterwards iheFi-lin 
( j^ ft- ) ^^^ ^11 quadrupeds, in general the hairy beings, Were born 
successively. The kiai-lin (^ ^) produced the kiao-lung (!^f|), 
the kiao-lung gave birth^to ihQkwun-keng (jS^ ^), and afterwards 
the kien-sie (^^) and all fishes, in general the scaly beings, 
were born successively. The kiai-fan {-f^ '/^) produced the sien- 
lung (^ hI)' 'the sien-lung gave birth to the yuen-yuen (tC ^i 
"original tortoise") and after/wards the ling-kwei (^^, "divine 
power manifesting tortoise") and all tortoises, in general the 
mailed beings were born successively". The same author says 
that "mankind cannot see the dragons rise; wind and rain assist 
them to ascend to a great • height" ^ 

The Ta tai li ki^ states that "the essence of the scaly animals 
is called dragon", and that "the dragon does not ascend if there 
is no wind". 

In the Historical Records * we read a quotation from Chwang 
tsze^, where Confucius after having talked with Lao tsze says: 
"As to the dragon, we cannot understand his riding on wind 
and clouds and his ascending to the sky. To-day I saw Lao tsze; 
is he not like the dragon?" 

According to the PH ya " <5"0°e of the animals J s so wise as / 
the dragon. His blessing power is not a false one. He can be 



2 Ch. XVII, ^i^%\\- Cf. Ch. IX, i^jUlJ: "The ying-lung ascends 
riding on the clouds". 

3 "^ M SS IB' compiled by Tat Teh, ^ ^. under the reign of the Emperor 

Suen of the Han dynasty (B.C. 73—49); Ch. V, -^ -^ ^ jg] , p. 76 : ^0 

4 Ch. LXIII, ^^^^?lJ1f. P-2a: M *^ f I # ^ hI ^ S 

5 dj jy. (4th cent. B. C), Section ^ jH ' <^h. III. 

6 J:^||, composed by LuH Tien, |^ {^ (1042-H02); Ch. I, ^ H , nr 1 

Verh. Kon. Akad. ». Wetensch. (Afd. Leltert.) N. R. Dl XIII, N". 2. 5 

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smaller than small, bigger_tlianbigjhighertl^^ 
than low. Jlherefore- iiec,Qx^iQg^^ Toi}ie~~Ty[ _kmgj Kien (^£, the 
~Hrst~diagram) by meansofJJie--di?agcai-j:uil£a-Ji^|Ven, and Kvfun 
(Jr^) by meansofThe horse rules the Earth; the dragon is a 
heavenly kind of being, the horse an earthly one". 

Li Tao-yuen ', in his commentary on the Shui king, states that 
the expression 'fishes and dragons consider the autumn days as 
night' means that "at the autumnal equinoctium the dragons 
descend and then hibernate and sleep in pools". 

The ''Wi ya yih ^ quotes the following passage from a work of 
Wang Fu ' : ^Whftn ra,in is to be e x£ected,_tha drag ons scrftarn 
and their_voices are like the sound mad£LJiy_.sJriking_copp_er 
basins. Their salivaT^an produce all kinds of-p^rf ume. Their 
breaih-ijec^raes clouds, and j]n the nthpr ha,nd tJiex_ay ail them- 
selves of the clouds in order to cover their bodies. Therefore 
they jire invisible. At the piresent day on rivers and lakesjiiere 
are sometimesjp eople who see^'onFcTaw and tJ5F tail (oTa^dragon) , 
but "the head TsLnotto be seSnTTn summer, after thefourth 



monyij_thfi_dragons_ divide the fegions-atHtmggtrthemseTves and 

_each__o_f them has ^hisT tem toryTThis ^ isTEe^ea-s trtT^w^^^J^'E^^ 

a distance of ^ couple of -acres—tbeare-Titay-., be quTEeclifferent 

■svmther^ rain and a— clear^ sky. Further, there are often heavy 



4 M ^ 7C ' '"'^° ^'^'^"^ under the Northern Wei dynasty (A. D. 386—536), quoted 
in the PH ya, Ch. I, „r 1 (f g ), P- 2a: ^ f H^ ^ ^ :^ ^ ^ f | 

2 Sect. ^ ^|, quoted in the T. S., Sect. ^ 0, Ch. 427, f| ^ ^ ^, 

mzmmMMmm. 

3 ^ ^ , who lived at the time of the Hah dynasty. He is the author of the 
r/i'en fu lun, 'i® ^ ^ ; but this passage is apparently quoted from another of 



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rains, and those who speak about these rains say : 'Fine moistening 
rain is heavenly i-ain, violent rain is dragon rain'. Dragon fire 
and human fire are opposite. If dragon fire comes into contact 
with wetness it flames, and if it meets water it burns. If one 
drives it away by means of fire, it stops burning and its flames 
are extinguished". 

The PH ya ' states the same fact with regard to the dragon 
fire, referring to the Nei tien, and in the same passage says the 
following ^ : "The dragons are also born from e ggs. When they 
intend ^ to ha tch, th e male dragon's_cry^jnak es the w in d rise, an d ^ 
tEe fem ale Hragon^ cry mak es^jthe w ind abate. and_ the_wind_ 
~T;KangejT._..^ . . Acjiojrding to popuiar_beHef^the Jragon's vital 
Spirit l ies in his eyes, for this is the case becaus e he is deaf. 
The 'Discussions "onthe^spoifEatreous— phenomena "of Yin and 
Yang" ^ say : 'The li-Iung's * pupils see a mustard plant or a straw 
at a distance of a hundred miles'. Further they say 'A dragon 
ca n make ( l itt. change) water, a man can ma.ke fire' . Further: 
'A dragon does not see stones, a man does not see the wind, 
fishes d o not_ see the_3ai£Ey--de»eB3 d o— a &fr— see— the— earibl— 
" ISuN Uh^oh tsze ^ saysT "Kao Tsu (probably the Emperor of the Han 
dynasty, who reigned B. C. 206 — 159) drove in a dragon carriage, 
Kwang Wu (who reigned A. D. 685 — 717) drove in a tiger 
carriage' ". 

§ 3. What dragons like and dislike. 

The 'Rh ya yih, iu the passage of Wang Fp above mentioned, 
says: "As to his character as a being the dragon's nature is 
rough and fierce; yet he is afraid of iron and likes precious 



1 Ch. I (^ J|), nr 1 (f|), p. 2b: ^ ^^ ^ , %% 'K % :^M ^ . 

2 Ibidem, p. ia, 2a: f| :^> ^^ ^ ^ .© ft 11 Hi ± M. . ll^ Rl T 

nrfiiiii^o -^^.fi^i^s. m.m%^m^ 

^ o X . f i bM ;^ > A bM ;^ . X . f i T> ^:S . 

3 The same work is quoted in the Pen-Wao kang-muh, Ch. 43, p. 40, with the 
title: Yin-yang pien-kwa lun, "Discussions on the phenomena of Yin and Yang". The 
fact that it is quoted in the PS ya proves that it dates from the eleventh century or earlier. 

' §g , 5 A famous poet of the 4th century A. D. 

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stones and Fung-tsHng ', and is fond of roasted swallow flesh. 
Therefore persons who have eaten swallows must not cross the 
sea. Further he (Wang Fu) says: "The Mao-lung"' is afraid of 
leaves of the Melia Azedefeeh ^ and of five-coloured silk thread. 
Therefore from the time of the Han dynasty (down to the present 
day) those who offered to K^iih Yuen * took five-coloured silk 
thread and with this tied together the leaves of the IVJelia 
Azederach. Among the ancients there were the Dragon-rearer ^ 
and the Dragon-ruler'* families, who ruled the dragons Only by 
means of their knowledge of what they desired and disliked" '. 
Tlie Pen-t/ao kang-muh ^ the famous standard work on Natural 
History and Materia Medica, written in the latter half of the 
15th century by Li Shi-chen^ says: "The small writings (essays) 
contain the following. The_dr agon's nature is rough and fierce, 
and yet he likes beautiful ^ems and k'^u ng-tit'ing , and ^ is found of 
~"(roasted)"~swaIIowsrHe~Is~afraid of iron, of the wang plant '", of 



1 ji^ ^ , i. e. the Yin-shih, 1^ ^ZT , 



the "Stone of Darkness". 



2 *£fi 



3 ifi , "a tree bearing lilac flowers, the 'Melia Azederach' or 'pride of India' ; the 
phoenix likes it, but the dragon abhors it" (Wells Williams, Chin. Diet, p ■ 536, s. v.) 

4 M 1^ ' '• ^- ^'^^'^ Ping, M ^ , a minister of the state of Ch'^u ( ^k ), who 
lived about B.C. 314, the maker of the famous poem entitled Li sao, ^ ^^. As his 
royal master would not follow his advise, he drowned himself in the Poh lo river. Every 
year, at the 5th of the 5th month, the anniversary of his death is celebrated and little 
dumplings wrapped in leaves are offered to him and eaten in his memory. Cf. DeGroot, 
Fetes annuelle.i a Emoui, Vol. I, pp. 313 sqq. The Japanese Tango no sekku, ^js 
^P ^^ 'gfj "St , the "Exact moment of the opposition'' (of Yin against Yang, i. e. the 

summer solstitium, with which it formerly must have been identical) is originally the 
same festival. It is a dragon .festival, at which the dragons by sympathetic magic in 
the form of dragon-boat races are called up to give fertilizing lains. The story about 
K'^uh Yuen is apparently a later explanation of this ancient festival. 

5 Hwan-lung , ^^ bJ^ • ^^- above, p. 50. 

6 Yii-lung, I^M ^| . Cf. above, p. 50. 

■^^^Mmmm^.m>x9^^mBmnmZo 

8 2|5: :^ in g > "Collectanea of Plants". §^ ^ , Ch. 43, p. 1. 

9 ^^^. 



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69 

centipedes ', of the leaves of the lien tree(Melia_A^giieraehV-aftd__ 
of tlve^M u ui'ed ailk threa d. TtergfttfTlhose^who have eaten 
swallows avoid to cross the water, and those who prayjorjrain 
use swallow-g; those who suppress water calamity (inundations) 
us.e _iron. th ese who -^tir-up theJHra^aC^Ctorcauselifl^^ make 

j- ain) u se the wang plant, and those who offer to K'tlh Yuen use 
leaves of the Melia Azederach and coloured silk thread, wrappiug 
dumplings in them which they throw into the river. Also w jien 
phvsici a -ng naa rlr agnn's Hnnoa, f -jqp y Tuii s t k u ow thfise particula rs 

- about the drag£m:&_pa.tn rft . a .s _tn t.hftjr UTringg and hatrftds" 2. 

The beautiful gems remind us of the Indian dragons; the 
pearls of the sea were, of course, in India as well as in China 
and Japan, considered to be in the special possession of the 
dragon-shaped sea-gods. As to the k%ng-tsHng, this is explained 
to be a hollow stone with water inside, or the vital spirit (^, 
tsing) of copper. Swallows are also mentioned as food of the 
shen (^)^ The same- particulars are to be found in the Nan 
fu sin shu *, where we read that the dragons are afraid of wa x. 

-an d that their fa.t mak es °^1T^ garm'^nts im permeable to wate r. 
In regard to the dragons' fear of iron we- may mention a 



Giles and Couveehe, but found in the Japanese dictionary entitled Kanwa daijiten, 
'^ ^P "^ *X*- -ffl- ) P- ^'232, where we read : " IS , Vo, mo, a special liind of plant 

resembling +^ 2& ("swallow-oats", also called karasu-mugi, avena fatua), minogome - 
(according to Brinkley's diet. "Beckmania erucaeformis") ; its grains are used as food". 
The ^S , ko, is described there as a special kind of plant with a red stalk and white 
flowers. Its leaves resemble those of the ^ 1 aoi (hollyhock ; Wells Williams, p. 487 : 
"the sunflower; a term for some malvaceous plants, as the Malva, Althea, and Hibiscus; 
it also includes other large leaved plants")". The ^S ^^ , kang-U'ao, is described by 
Wells Williams (Diet. p. 319, s. v.) as "a trailing plant, vitis ficifolia, which bears 
white flowers and small grapes that are said to remove stupidity" But the Pen-ts^ao 
kang-muh gives jffl|", not j^ . 

1 AS. j^, wu-kung^ 

f I ^ # ^> ^ 5^^ # ^ ^ ^ ^tt iH^ » 

3 See below, p. 76. 

^ ^ 0^^ ^, written by Ts'ien Yih, ^ ^) i" the later Sung dynasty; 

Ch. ^, 

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70 

legend to be found in the THen chung ki ', where we read the 
following. In A. D. 762 the dike of a river was broken, and 
each time when the repairs were nearly finished, it broke again. 
At last somebody told that in the time of the Emperor Wu of 
the Liang dynastj'^ (who reigned from A. D. 502 to 549) in a 
similar case thousands of pounds of iron were buried under the 
dike, whereupon the work could be completed. On hearing these 
words the superintendent of the work ordered to do the same, 
and lo! the thundering noise under the ground was no longer 
heard on the spot where the iron was laid, but gradually went 
away, and the dike was soon repaired. "The reason may be", 
says the author, "that the eyes of the dragons are hurt by the 
pungent nature (litt. taste) of iron or gold, and that they flee 
to protect their eyes". —-"' 



§ 4. Shape of the dragons- 

Wang Tu ' says : "The people paint the dragon's shape with a 
horse's head and a snake's tail. Further, there are expressions as 
'three joints' and 'nine resemblances' (of the dragon), to wit: 
from head to shoulder, from shoulder to breast, from breast to 
tail. T hese are the j oints ; as to the nine-resemblans es, they a re 

lead that. 



the fo llowing : his horns resemble those of a. sta.c 

of^arSjnaL, his eve§ those of ^a^d emon. his neck that oLa-snaJ^T' 

l ii^ belly th at~~of a clam (gAgw,~\^), his sca les those of a, carp ^, 
TngLjsla-wg--SigsB---eJ^=: aj3^caglc, his so tes tho se of a ti ger ^ iis ea rs 

^^se__Qf_a_cow. U pon'"hir'iTC gdl.M-Jmi^^^^a--thin g like a broa d 
em inence (ar b ig~Titm p), called chHh _m.u/^-j^--^|^).-I£-a-dEagQn 

The PH ya^ states that "the dragon's 81 scales form a number 



1 See above, p. 57, note 8; Ch. LVI. 

2 About this author see above, p. 66, note 3; this passage, quoted in the 'Rh ya 
ijih, Sect. ^ f I (T. S., Ch. 127, f| ^ ^ :% , P- 6b), is not to be found in 

^Nx^o Fv's n^ien fu lun. j& j^ ^ M Z ^ M t ^t M . X^^ 

if m. Ati##tij^. mmm^ mm^. mia^'^. 

3 Ch. I (^ ^), „r 1 (f|), p. la: ft A + - ^ ^ ;/L ;^ :^ 



wt^.r I. ttpt .1. ^ti 



A^\U t^ m 



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71 

,4onsistiDg_of ^niDe times nine. Nine is Yang . The carp's 36 scales 
fornriTnumlVer cnna jstinp ^ of si x times six'TSix is Yin' '\ — 

In the Yang kuh inan luh^ we read: "The dragon has five 
fingers". 

Finally, the Pen-ts^ao hang-muh"- teaches us that "a dragon has 
whiskers at the sides of his mouth and a bright pearl under his 
chin ; under his throat he has scales lying in a reversed direction ; 
upon his head he has a broad eminence called in writing diih 
muh; if a dragon has no chHh muh, he cannot ascend to the sky. 
His breath turns into clouds, and then can change into water 

and into fire (rain and lightning)" "The S/iiJi tien says: 

'When dragons copulate they change into two small snakes' ". 

§ 5. Male and female dragons. 
ThPi - fliffprPTipp hpiMif P(^r\_rna\p^r>i\ female dragons is rlpsprihpH 

as follows: "The male dr agoJs~ _horn._is_a Tirln1ating. concave, y 
ste ep; it is str ong' at the top, but becomes very thin below. 
T he female dragon has a straight nos e, a jound, mane^i^in scales 
and a s trong tail" ^ 

The Sking i ki* relates of a painter, who was very skilled in 
painting dragons, but whose work one day was critisized by a 
man and a woman. They said that he did not distinguish male 
from female dragons, although they were different in reality. 
When he got angry and asked them how they knew this, they 



1 q§ #■ y^ ^. Sect. f|, quoted in the T. S, Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 127, f| 

2 Ch. 43, ^ :^ — , f|, p. la: p ^ 7^ ^ ^ ^ M T ^ 55 

:^-^mi\'^^mm)Mmwcmm:^.xmm:K. 

3 Kwang poh wuh chi, ^ |^ i^ ^ > ^" "Enlarged Poh whu chi" of later 
times (1607), by Tung Sze-chang, fj ^ 5^ (Cf- Wylie, p. 187). The Poh wuh chi 
itself is a work of Chang Hwa, ^ ^, who lived in the fourth century, at the time 
of the Tsin dynasty (A. D. 265 — 420). This passage is quoted in the Wakan sansai 
.ue, Ch. XLV, p. 674: M ^ ^ "^ t% \^ ^^ ± ^T ^ ^ ^ M 

4 ^ M f 2 , written by Chang Kiun-fang, gg ^ ^ , in the Sung dynasty 
(960—1280)? 

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72 

answered that they were dragons themselves and were willing 
to show him their shapes, whereupon they changed into a male 
and a female dragon. 

§ 6. Different kinds of dragons. 

The Shuh i ki ' says: "A water snake (;^ J|^, shui yuen) after 
five hundred years changes into a^?ao(^), a Hao after a thousand 
years changes into a lung (f|), a lung after five hundred years 
changes into a Uoh-lung (-^ f|, "horned dragon") and after a 
thousand years into a ying-lung (]§^|)". 

Quite different, however, is, as we have seen above (p. 65), Liu 
Ngan's statement in his work entitled Hwainan tsze'^, according to 
which the "flying dragons'" are the offspring of the bird yil-kia * 
("the winged barbel"; this is the reason, says the commentary 
to this passage, why these dragons have wings) ; the ying-lung are 
the issue of a quadruped called mao-tuh * ; the kiao-lung are the issue 
of a fish called kiai-lin '^j the sien-lung ° are the issue of a mailed beast 
called kiai-fan''; and the ¥uh-luiig^ are produced by a sea plant 
called hai-lu ". When the yellow dragon, horn from _:£ellow gold a 
thousand ye ars oI3. enters" a d eep placeT^a yellow springdiiEgs 



and if from this spring somTpartie le a !° Qjioe rthesebeco me 

-a yellow cloud. In the same way blue springs and blue clouds 

originate from blue Ax^k^^¥^^^^S''frar!r=W&^=^^r-Si§h.t hundred 

, years old; red, white and black spri ngs and cl ouds from red, 

white and black dragons born -fTom--goW~^f+he-sameIISiours, a 

thousand years old. 

The Poh 2/a " ~gives~t&e following definition of the principal 

1 gjt ^ g2 , written by Jen Fang, ^^ ^ , in the sixth century A. D. (another 
work of the same name dates from 1701), Ch. _|^ , p. 6a: -jk T^ ^ W ^ ^ 






2Ch.IV, itb^flj. 3 ^ 



6 


:^#|. 












' ifY'IW- 




8 


J^tl- 












9 mm- 




10 


•f^ , fine dust. 














11 


if ft- 


Sect. 


m 


n- 


Ch. 


X, 


p- 66; ^ m 






Bfefe *& "jfe" 'fiV D itiiL S6 4te >OV ta idm iafi \nu 1, tu^ n... jc. 



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73 

dragons: "If a dragon has scales, he is called hiao-limg; if wings, \/ 
ying-lung (]§f|); if a horn, kHu-lung (SLf|); ^"^^ if he has 
no horn, he is called chH-lung (i^f|)". In the Japanese Buddhist 
dictionary entitled Buhhyo iroha jiten ' we find the same enume- 
ration with the additon of a fifth class, the p^an-lung (^f|), 
"coiled dragon", which does not yet ascend to heaven. This 
dragon is also mentioned in the Fang yen ^, where we read : 
"Dragons which do not yet ascend to heaven are called ]fan-lung'\ 

In the same passage of the aforesaid Japanese dictionary 
another dijdsiea- into fivQ -cl a.sspia is givftrij nn,mRly _;_cr ow-drago ns, 
snake ^agons. toad-dragons, horse-dragons_ arr1 fish-dragnnR^, This 
enumeration Tstn_l2ft_fmiTir| \x\ a. T^ndrl hist work, the Sil-men 

ts'ring king ^j^'where we rea d that from these five classes that oF . 

the snake-dragons is the_2ri ncipal one ; they ar e_the_^ri gbt kind 
ot dragonl!. 

Lccording to the Wen-tsze tsih-lioh^ the clfi-lung (i^^l)'' ^^ 
red, white and green, and the Fiu-lung (^L^l) is blue. The kHu 
is mentioned several times in the Pao P'^oh-tsze'': "If a pond 
inhabited by fishes and gavials is drained off, the divine ¥iu go 
away" ®. "As to the flying to the sky of the ¥m of the pools, 



kang-muh, Ch. 43, ^| ^ —^ , p. 66, s. v. kiao-lung, quotes the text in this form 
(without saying that it is borrowed from the Poh ya), the original text of the Poh ya 
gives different characters for the names of the two last dragons. These characters are 
not to be found in the dictionaries, being the 205th radical under the 140th, and 
^L combined with ^ ; but the pronunciation added to them is kiu ( ^ ,^) ^""^ 

1 See above, Inti-od., p. 22, note 1 ; Vol. II, p. 56, s. v. ^| . 

2 Hb •^, "Local Terms", according to De Groot {Rel. Sy.it. Vol. Ill, p. 1073) 
"a small vocabulary composed by Yang Hiung, i^ i^ , an ethical philosopher and 

statesman who died in A.D. 18." Ch. XII, p. 7a: ^^^nUM^'^M- 

3 .^fl, i-fefl. m^M. 'ifi. MM' ^»-''*«^' '"'^-^""S'' 
hia-ma-lung, ma-lung, and yu-lung. 

^ ^Wi (Sumeru) H^ ^ , quoted in the Ts'ien-kHoh ku lei shu, yg ^ ^ 

*g ^, a cyclopaedia compiled in 1632 by Ch'en Jen-siii, |I^ ^ ^ • Cf. Wylie, 
Notes on Chinese literature (2nd ed.), p. 187. 

5 -^ ^ -^ (^ , a vocabulary quoted in the Wakan sansai zue, Ch. XLV, p. 675. 

6 Of. below, Ch. V (Ornaments). 

7 :f^ :^I> •?• . written by Koh Hung, ;g »^ , in the 4th century A. D. 

8 ^(. ^, Ch. I, nr 2 (^ |^), p. 6&: M M M Z M M II *L 

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u 

this is his union with the clouds" '. "The ts^ui ¥iu ('kingfisher- 
kHu') has no wings and yet flies upwards to the sky" ^. "Place 
the shape (i. e. an image of this dragon) in a tray, and the 
kingfisher-^'m (shall) descend in a dark vapoury haze" ^ The 
last sentence points to sympathetic magic which we shall mention 
below (this Book, Ch. VI). 

The Shui ying fu^ ^ajs that the yellow dragon is th e. h pad nf 

thefoui_dra gons, tl;i,e- esseiice_ of divine manifesting powerf i_3jijd 

V that h e_ can becom e _ big and small , appear^ and disappear. in a 

mom ^nt;_ili£_&Z8^g-4fa)fflQ ffl is the v ita l spirit o f water. The azure, 

^blu a, yellQw, _black, white and red dragons as ^ood orl)ad _Qm£ns 

and givers_flf UgET^ oFl'aln rare meht iohed^ bgye. 

The legend about the ying-lung, the winged'' dragon, which 
after having killed the rebel Ch'i Yiu (the first to raise rebellion 
in B. C. 2637) could not return to the Southern peak where he 
used to live, for which reason afterwards often drought prevailed, 
will be given below (Ch. VI). 

A nine-headed, eighteen-tailed dragon is mentioned in a passage 
of the Lang Men M°, referred to by De Groot'. There a Taoist 
doctor is said to have recited this spell: *I came from the East 
and found a pond on the road; in its water lived a venerable 
dragon with nine heads and eighteen tails. I asked what it fed 
on; it ate nothing but fever-demons". 

Further, we read about the "little stone-dragon", or "little 
mountain-dragon", also called "spring- dragon" ®, the Japanese 



1 Ibidem, nr H (;^ ^), p. 28a: >^ M. Z X ^ ^ M B Z ^ 
•jjgj ^ T. S. Sect. -^ ^^, Ch. 130, p. 4a, where this passage is quoted, gives E^ 
instead of ■^ , which would mean ; "this is a flight of stairs formed by the clouds 
and vapours". But in the Pao P'oh-tsze itself we read '^ . 

2 ^[.^,Ch.]II,nr38(-[|| |^),p. 29a: ^ C ^S ^ ffi ^ ^ . 

3 ^[. M' Ch. IV, nr 39 (^ ^), p. 3b: 1^ ^ ;jf$ ^ ^ ffij ip, ^ 

4 ^ ]§ 0, see above p. 64, note 2; quoted in the THen chung ki, ^ fh 

5 mmzw- 

6 J||J -^ gE , "a collection of tales and legends, in three chapters, ascribed tq one 

I Shi-chen, -^ jtt" 3^ , who lived under the Yuen dynasty (Lang huen is the Land 
of Bliss)" (De Groot, Rel. Syst. Vol. IV, p. 105). 

7 Rel. Syst, Vol. VI, p. 1053. 



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iohage or imori (lizard), which is boru between stones in the 
mountains and has got the name of "little dragon" because it 
was (and is) believed to cause hail by its breath and to give 
rain to those who prayed to it '. 

The connection between tb^ ana.Ti-P a.nrl tl^A rl ragnn is ftvidft Ti+. 

from jhe description of the _so-calle d teng-sU, ^f rfc'fe, a wingles s 

serpent, "which can CRus(rt^^cI ouds to rls^ and, riding u pon 

jt hem, can % a, thnns a nr l -nulfiS,_IL-ean ^c hange into a dragon. 

41t^oughJhere_ai:a_4»a;6s-sffi4-4e^^ 

Theirjry_forbodes_^ And Koh Hung => states that 

"tortoises turn into tigers and snakes, into dragons". In the 
Tiu-yang tsali tsu\ we read:- "Dragons and snakes are considered 
by the learned class to be related". 

The gavial « also belongs to the dragons. The Pen-ts'ao Tcang- 
muh' describes it as follows: "There are numerous gavials in 
rivers and lakes. They resemble the class of the Iing-Ii\ and 
their length is one or two chang. Both their backs and tails are 
covered with scales. By exhaling t h ey can m,akfi nl.ourh ^,n^_ rm^.o^ 
j^g^ai^JLJg —^ kind of dragon. The y livein deep holes and ca n 
fl y only~TorizontaIly7~not vertically. 'fEmr~cries are like t"h e 

Ui Hi "^ ' °'' ts'uen-lung, ^ ^| . cf. Wells Williams, Chin.-Eng. Bid., pp. 803 
and 1095: "The insect ( _^ ) that changes (^), a small eft or chameleon common in 
Hukwang, also called ^^ ^|| or grass- dragon". 

1 Pen-ts'ao kang-muh, Sect. ^^, nr 1 (^|), Chr 43, p. 12a: ^j^ ^ ^ 

\U:^m. iiitti:. -^mm. ^nm^z^- 

2 Pen-Wao kang-muh, quoted in the Wakan sansai zue, Ch. XLV, p. 682. In Ch. 
43, p. 40 of the Pen-ts^ao kaiig-muh the text is a little different: "The feng-sM 
changes into a dragon. This divine snake can ride upon the clouds and fly about over 
a thousand miles. If it is heard, (this means) pregnancy. This is borrowed from the 
Pien-kwa lun (i. e. the Yin-Yang pien-kwa lun, mentioned above, p. 67). Further, 
the Pao P^oh-tsze says: 'The i'eng-sM do not copulate'." 

3 Pao P'^oh-tsze, p^ J^ , Oh. I (^ J^). 

^ M ^ ^ M' written in the ninth century by Twan Ch'ing-shih, J^ fig 
j^, quoted T. S., Ch. 130. Sect. -^ ^ , fg ^ H ^, p. 46: f | M ife-g 

5 -^, cf. Wells Williams, 1.1., p. 912, s. v.: "A large trilon, gavial, or water 
lizard, found to the South of China, ten feet long, of whoso hard skin drumheads are 
made; its gruff voice is heard at night and indicates rain". About gavials acting as 
demons, cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst. of China, Vol, V, pp. 625 sq. 

6 Ch. 43, p. 8a: cf. Wakan sansai zue, Ch. XLV, p. 675. 



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.sound of a drum, and wh ea they cry at night, thi s^is called 'the 
^vialidxuml. Wha p +>'ft^^^^u nt"rYioik hear it,"~iEe y^pre dict r^i""- 
About the shen (>§), a huge clam, the same work ' says the 
following: "It is a kind of kiao {^^). Its shape also resembles 
that of- a snake, but it is larger. It has a horn like a dragon, 
a red mane, and the scales under its loins are all lying in a 
■reversed direction. It eats young swallows. When exhaling its 
breath assumes the form of towers and castles, which are seen 
when it is about to rain, and are called 'clam-towers' ^, or 
'sea-markets' ^ Of its fat, mixed with wax, candles are made, 
which one may smell at a distance of about a hundred steps. 
Also in the flames of these candles the shapes of towers and 
steeples are to be seen. Luh Tien [the author of the P'i ya, who 
lived during the reign of the Emperor Hwui Tsung (1101 — 1126)] 
says : 'If a kiao copulates with a tortoise, they produce a tortoise, 
and when with^ a pheasan|, a clam {shen) is produced' ". 

§ 7. Kiao lung (^fl). 

The Shan hai king * describes the kiao as follows : "(Out of the 
Tao Kwo mountains) water comes forth in waves and flows to 
the South, where it flows into the sea. In this water there are 
'tiger-Hao'. Their shapes consist of the body of a fish and the 
tail of a snake. Their voices are like those of mandarin ducks. 
Those who eat them, have no boils, and they (i. e. their flesh) 
may be used to cure piles". In three other passages ^ of the 
same ancient work many kiao are said to live in special mountain 
rivulets. 

According to the Tang yil king, "Classic on the rearing of 
fishes" °, "if there are fully 360 fishes, the kiao lung is made 
their chief, and leading the fishes flies away". 



i Cli. 43, p. 7a. Of. Wakan sansai zue, Ch. XLV, p. 675. 

2 Shen leu, >^ ^^ , i. e. . mirages. 3 |^ "j^ , 

4) Sect. ^ llj ^, Ch. I, p. 11a: {^ M Z \U) 'M ^^^ ^ "^ . ffil 

5 Sect. Ffl li| ^, Ch. XV, quoted T. S., Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 132, ife^ ^ ^ 
%, p. 2a. 

6 # :i ^ ' ^'''- ^ i""*'^'^ ''■ s- ••'•= II vi ^ 1" :^ + V m ^M 



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' ^-f-. M:mm- mM:m^M.B.m^m. mmm 

5 Sect. ^;j^^fj|,Ch.XX,p.3a: *i^ f I ft ^ ^ '13 ffij ^P t'J T It • 

7 M J[@ , who drowned himself in the Poh-lo river in Hu-nan province, and whose 
death is commemorated every year on the fifth day of the fifth month (the Festival 
of the Dragon Boats, cf above, p. 68, note 4, and below, this Chapter, § 10). 

8 Sft 1^' "Dissipation of Sorrows''; Ch^u ts^ze, ^ ^, Ch. I. Cf. Legge, The 
Li Sao poem and its author, Joui-nal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January, July and 
October 1895. 

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77 

From the ancient Taoist treatise designated by the name of 
Wen tsze^ we learn the following. "As to him who accumulates 
the virtue of the Tao, phoenixes fly in his court-yard, hH-lin 
roam about in his suburbs, and Mao-lung house in his pond". 
Further, we read there: "On the highest tops of the mountains 
clouds and rain arise, and in the deepest depths of the water 
hiao-lung are born" '^ 

Kwan tsz^^ says: "The Mao-lung is the god of the water 
animals. If he rides on the water, his soul is in full vigour, but 
when he loses water (if he is deprived of it), his soul declines. 
Therefore I (or they) say: 'If a Mao-lung gets water, his soul 
can be in full vigour' ". The same philosopher states that "when 
people drain marshes and catch fish, the Mao-lung do not dwell 
in those pools" ". 

Also Hwai nan tsze^ mentions the Mao-lung with the following 
words: "The Mao-lung lie hidden and sleep in pools, and yet , 
their eggs break up (i. e. the young ones come out of them) on v 
the hills". The comimentator remarks: "The Mao-lung lay their 
eggs on hills and hide in pools. Their eggs get life spontaneously" ^. 

K'tJH Yuen ', the famous nobleman and poet of Ts^u, who was 
banished by king Hwai towards the end of the fourth century 
B. C. and about 299 B. C. composed his celebrated poem entitled 
Li Sao^, in the ninth section of this poem describes his journey 
to the mysterious KVan-lun mountains in the West, in a car 



78 

in the form of a phoenix, drawn by a team of four ¥iu ( 
In the thirteenth section, when proceeding along the Red river, 
he says: "I motioned with my hand to the kiao-lung to bridge 
over the ford". ^ At that time his car was drawn by "flying 
dragons". ' 

The Ta tai li ki^ instructs us that the kiao-lung is considered 
si to be the head of the 360 scaly animals,- and that " if water 
accumiTlates and becomes a river, the kiao-lung is born". '^ 

The Poll wuh chi " says : " If a man has eaten swallows [comp. 
V' this chapter, § 3, p. 68], he must not enter the water; (for if 
he does so), he will be swallowed by a kiao-lung'". 

In the above texts, except in those of the Shan hai king, the 
words kiao and lung are combined to one term. The Shan hai 
king, however, speaks of the kiao only, and so ,do a large number 
of other works, which distinguish the kiao from the lung. Neither 
in the Shan hai king, nor in the Li ki\ which says: "(In the 
last month of summer) the inspector of fishing is ordered to kill 
the kiao"", these water animals are mentioned as divine creatures. 
The commentator of the former Work, Kwoh P^oh S however, 
J states the following: "The kiao resembles a snake. It has four 
legs,, and is akin to the lung'\ ° As we have seen above '", the 
Shuh i ki remarks that a water snake (shui-yuen) , when five 
hundred years old, changes into a kiao, and a kiao a-fter a thousand 
years becomes a lung. 



^ im s c ii^i ffe M"^ o ^^^^^' '•'•' pp- ^^^' ^^^' "'*"'='' *'• 

2 ^ !b$t f I Jtii ^ if^ ^ -» Legge, I.I., pp. 846, 863, stanza 89. 

3 lis :^ ^ ^ ^i ^ o Legge, ibidem, stanza 86. 

* j^MJii. IE (l^t <=«"'• B- C), Ch. XIII, nr 81, ^ 2fs: ^ , P 7b : >^ ^ 

5 Ch. VII, nr 64, f/ .^, P- 7a: ^ ;![C ^ j|| ,^M^Mo 

6 4S ^^rt ^^ , a little work written by Chang Hwa, HM ^£ , a Minister of 
State, who lived in the fourth century (cf. above, p. 71 , note 3) : A -^ jSfc 1^ 

7 Sect. ^ ^, Book IV, Ch. IV, r^r 8: {^^ Z M ) ^ M ^^ "ik^ . 

CouvREOR, Li ki, Vol. I, p. 367. 

8 ^ ^1 (A. D. 276—324), the famous Taoistic author and poet, who edited the 
'Rh ya and the Shan hai king. 

9 i^^i-fe. n^mm^ 



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1 |&MiE'Ch.VI,p. 36. 

2 jl ^ IE (^''^"^ '^^"^"'•y)' ^^- ±' p- ''96= i^ n ^ ^ :^ *i^ o 

3 Quoted T. S. Sect. ^ 0, Ch. 132, ifeji ^ H ^, P- ^6: || H ^ 

^ ^£ ^ i^ H^' 1"°*^^ ibidem, p. 2a. 

5S.V. (|5^,Ch.I, p. 9a: *i^f|S-tfe..^|Hc11>|t'feffij0J£^ 

6 S ^ :ffi M ) according to De Groot (Rel. Syst. Vol. Y, p. 864, note 2) "a 
work in ten chapters by P'eng Shing, ^ ^ i of the eleventh century'', quoted in 

the T. S., Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 132, !^ ^ || ^, P- 1&- 

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79 

The Shih i ki ' (ith century) tells us that the Emperor Chao 
of the Han dynasty (B. C. 86 — 74), when angling in the Wei river, 
"caught a white Mao, three ehang long, which resembled a big 
snake, but had no scaly armour. The Emperor said: 'This is not 
a lucky omen', and ordered the Ta kwan to make a condiment 
of it. Its flesh was purple, its bones were blue, and its taste was 
very savoury and pleasant". 

The ancient Chinese apparently considered the Mao — some 
four-legged water animal — to be a common, dangerous creature, / 
but afterwards it was believed to be akin to the dragon and 
called a dragon itself. Thus it became the principal god of rivers 
and brooks. 

According to the Shuh i M ^ "old tiger-fishes become Mao'''', and 
the author of the Tiu-yang tsah-tsu ^ instructs us that " when / 
fishes weigh two thousand kin (catty) they become Mao'". Another 
work, however, the Yuh hu tsHng hwa *, states that eggs left by 
snakes or pheasants, when having been a thousand years in the 
ground, become Mao. 

The P^i ya * describes this animal as follows : " The Mao belongs 
to the same kind as the lung. Its shape resembles that of a 
snake and yet it has four legs and a thin neck. Around its neck y 
it has a white necklace. The big Mao are several spans thick. 
They are born from eggs. Their eyebrows are united ( ^ ), reason 
why they are called Mao (^)". 

The Mih ¥oh hioui si'^ says: "The Hao's shape is like that of 
a snake, and its head is like that of a tiger. Its length reaches 
several chang. Many of them live in rivulets and pools and under 
rock caves. Their voices are like the bellowing of a cow. When 
people walk on the shore or in the valleys of brooks, they are 



80 

troubled by the him. When they see a man, they first surround 
him with stinlsing saliva, and after having made him tumble 
into the water they suck his blood under his armpits. When he 
has no blood left, they stop sucking". 
/ In the Pen-ts'ao hang-muh ' Li Shi-chen quotes the following 
passage from the P^ii yuen kwang cheu ki'^: "The kiao is over a 
chang long. It resembles a snake but has four feet and its shape 
is broader, resembling the beam of a railing. It has a small head 
and a thin neck. At its neck it has white tassels (a white 
necklace ^). The upper part of its breast is reddish brown, the 
upper part of its back is spotted with blue, the sides of its ribs 
(flanks) are like brocade. Its tail has a fleshy ring. Big kiao are 
several span thick, and their eggs are also larger (than those of 
other kiao). They can lead fishes anfl fly. If people catch turtles, 
the kiao can escape". 

As messengers from the River Lord (^Rf'fQ), the god of the 
Yellow River, the kiao are mentioned in a story to be found in 
the Poh wuh clii (3rd century) *. This god wished to deprive an 
oflBcial, who crossed the river with a jade badge of ofiBce, of" 
this precious object, and sent two kiao to seize the vessel. But 
both were killed by the audacious man, who after having thrice 
crossed the river threw the badge into the water as a present 
to the River Lord, who danced with joy and took it home. 
/ Transformations of kiao into human shapes are the subjects of 
several tales. The Wu ki'" tells the following: "Under the Emperor 
Ta Ti of the Wu dynasty (A. D. 228—251), in the seventh month 
of the third year of the Ch'ih-wu era (A. D. 240), there was a 
certain Wang Shuh who gathered medicinal herbs on T'ieu Tai 
mountain. At the hottest time of the day he took a rest under 
a bridge, when suddenly he saw a little blue boy, over a foot 
long, in the brook. The boy held a blue rush in his hand and 
rode on a red carp. The fish straightly entered a cloud and 
disappeared little by little. After a good while Shuh climbed 
upon a high mountain top and looked to all four sides. He saw 
wind and clouds arising above the sea, and in a moment a 
thunderstorm broke forth. Suddenly it was about to reach Shuh, 
who terrified hid himself in a hollow tree. When the sky cleared 
up, he again saw the red carp on which the boy rode and the 



3 .ffl , probably the same as jfflM or jffi , 4 Ch. VII, p. 3a. 



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little boy returning and entering the brook. It was a black Hao!" 
In the Sheu slien heu ki ^ we read about a kiao, who in the 
shape of a man, about twenty years old, came to a farmer's 
cottage. He rode on a white horse, under a state umbrella, and 
was escorted by four followers, all dressed in yellow robes. "They 
came from the East and arriving at the gate they called : 'Child 
of Yin (the little son of the farmer, thirteen years old, who was 
alone at home), we come to sit down for a little while and rest'. 
Thus they entered the house and sat down on a couch in the 
lower part of the court-yard. One of them grasped the umbrella 
and turned it upside down. Yin's child looked at their clothes 
and saw that they were entirely without a seam. The horse was 
spotted with five colours and looked as if it had a scaly armour 
and no hair. In a moment a rainy vapour came, whereupon the 
man mounted the horse and rode away. Turning and looking 
back he said to the child: 'Tomorrow I must come again'. Yin's 
child looked where they went and saw them treading the air, 
turning westwards and gradually ascending. In a moment cloudy 
vapours assembled from all sides and the daylight was darkened 
by them. The next day a heavy rain came violently down; the 
water gushed over mountains and valleys, hills and ravines were 
overflown. When it was about to overflow the cottage of Yin's 
child he suddenly saw a big kiao, over three chang long. Which 
with its windings protectingly covered the cottage". 

The revenge of a kiao, transformed into a girl, is told in the 
/ yuen ^. A man who had hit a kiao with an arrow met a crying 
girl with the same arrow in her hand. When he asked her what 
this meant, she said that she came to return to him the burning 
pain it had caused her, after which she gave him the arrow and 
disappeared. Before he reached his house he got a hot fever and 
died on the road. 

The passages mentioned above clearly show that the kiao, 
just as the lung, were believed to assume human shapes and to 
cause rain and thunderstorm. This is not astonishing, for we 
have seen that the Mao were called lung themselves. 



1 :^ II ^ IE, written by Ts'ao Ts'ien, |^ *J^, in the fifth century. Ch. X, 
p. i. The Sheu shen ki, ^ f| IE' ^^^ written by ¥u Pao, ^ ^, (orKANPAO, 

-=p ^ ) in the first decades of the fourth century. 

2 J^ ^ , -written by Liu King-shuh, ^J ^ ;|^ i in t^^e first half of the fifth 
century; quoted T. S., 1.1., Ch. 132, ^f»|i|, V- 2&. 

Verh. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensoh. (Afd. letterk.) N. R. Dl. XIII, N" 2. 6 

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§ 8. Rearing and taming dragons. 

In Chapter II (pp. 50 sqq,) we have referred to the Historical 
Records with regard to the Emperor ICuDg Kiah of the Hia 
dynasty^ in whose service Liu Lei tamed two dragons, sent down 
by Heaven. This Liu L6i had learned the art from the Dragon-: 
rearer family, and he himself obtained the family name Qi YU 
lung, "Dragon-ruler". 

_ The Tso chvfen^ gives the same legend in the following 
passage : "In autumn (of the 29th year of Chao kung, i. e. Chao, 
duke of Lu, who reigned B. C. 541—509) a dragon appeared in 
the suburbs of Kiang. Wei Hien tsze asked Ts'ai Mih saying: ^ 
have hea,rd that none of the animals is the dragon's equal in 
"kno wledge, and that for this reason the drago n cann ot be caugh t 
'al im Can we believe th at it is right to ascnbeThis (his not 
^^g, caught alive) to his~knowtedge?' lIil~^eplied-r-'Men~ really 
do not know; it is not that the dragon is really knowing. The 
ancients kept dragons; therefore the State had a Dragon-rearer 
family {Hwan-lurig sW^) and a Dragon-ruler family (Tw-^Mn^sAi^)'. 
Hien tsze said : 'I too have heard about those two families, but 
I do not know their origin; w;hat is it said to be?' The answer 
was: 'In olden times there was Shuh Ngan of Liu, who had a 
distant descendant called Tung Fu, very fond of dragons and able 
to find out ' their tastes and likings, so as to supply them with 
drink and meat. Many dragons sought refuge with him and he 
reared the dragons according to their nature in order to serve 
the Emperor Shun, who gave him the surname of Tung, and the 
family name of Hwan-lung (Dragon-rearer). He was [also] invested 
with [the principality of] Tsung-chw^en, and the family of 
Tsung I is of his posterity. Thus in the time of the Ernperor 
Shun, and for generations after, dragons were reared. We come 
[then] to K^ung Kiah of the Hia dynasty, who was so obedient 
•4 and acceptable to the Emperor of Heaven, that the latter gave 
him riding dragons, two, a male and a female, from the Hwang-ho, 
and two from the Han river. K'ung Kiah could not feed them, 
and had not yet found [members of the] Hwan lung family. 
T'^ao T^ang (Yao)'s family having declined, one of his descendants 
was Liu Lei, who learned the art of rearing dragons from the 
'Dragon-rearer' family. With this he undertook to serve Kiting 



1 LeGQE, Chinese Classics, Vol. V, pp. .729 sqq.; Bdok X, year XXIX, par. 4. 



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Kiah and could give the dragons drink and food. The Emperor 
praised him and gave him the family name of Dragon-ruler 
(Yu-lung)". 

§ 9. Dra gons ridde n by sien, or dr awing the cars 
o fgods and holy men . 

The "Traditions on the Files of Immortals", Lieh sien ch'ufen \ 
repeatedly mention sien who rode away on dragons through the 
air. We often read also of flying dragons or ying-lung drawing 
the cars of gods or holy men. As we shall see below (Ch. VII), 
Hwang Ti rode on a dragon, and Tii's carriage was drawn by 
two of these divine animals. In the Li Sao, quoted above ^, 
K^ilh Yuen's car was drawn by four ¥iu or by flying dragons. 
The Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty (B. C. 140-86) once ascended 
the Ten ling tower and after the second night watch saw Si 
wang mu, the. "Royal Mother of the West", arriving in a carriage 
of purple clouds, drawn by nine-coloured, spotted dragons ^ 
These ideas are, of course, closely connected with those about 
dragon-horses, winged and scaly horses of extraordinary size, 
treated above in Ch. II, § 3, pp. 56 sqq. 

§ 10. Dragon-boats. 

Dragon-boats are mentioned in the Hwai nan tszS *, where, 
these ships are called " dragon-boats^(and) yih-heads'" (^| ^^ ^ ■^). 
This is explained as follows by the commentator: " Dragon-boats 
are big ships adorned wit h carved dragon- o rnaments (]^); the 
"yiE is a b ig bird, tne pain ted_shape-t)f which~t»^^attached to the 
4uxtwsI^^o£^I^ps^\_WEi^ WaLiAM^^ the y^'^"as~"^'a^MIId~ 

of seabird that flies high, whose figure is gaily painted on the 
sterns of junks, to denote their swift sailing; the descriptions 
are contradictory, but its picture rudely resembles a heron". 
On. these boats, which were used by the Emperors for pleasure 



1 -^ll Ylll 'fil ) ■written in the first century before our era by the famous philoso- 
pher Liu Hang, ^J |hJ ; quoted T. S., Sect. ^ 0, Ch. 131, ^\. |1|, pp. la, 
2b. Cf. the Shen sien ch'wen, "Traditions on the divine sien", quoted ibidem, p. 3a.' 

2 This chapter, § 7, p. 77, note 8. 

3 Han Wu-ti nei ch'wen (attributed to Pan Ku, but probably written in the 3rd 

century), quoted ibidem, p. 3a: 3E#M^^^^^l|;^'feSff|- 

4 About 140 B.C.; Ch. VIII (2JS ^)- 

5 Chin. Engl. Diet, p. 1092, s. v. yih. - ' 

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84 

trips, on which occasions music was made on board, the bird 
was painted, not to denote their swift sailing, but to suppress 
the water-gods, if we may believe the commentary to a passage 

J of the Wen siien '. It seems that the ships represented dragons 
with yih-heads, and that the "dragon-ornarherits" were the 
dragon's scales, carved on the sides of the vessels. 

The Japanese courtiers of the eleventh century, however, who 
wanted to imitate all the customs prevailing at the Chinese court, 

. did not understand the words of the Hwai nan tsze and had two 
kinds of ships made which they called in one term: "Dragon- 
heads (and) Yih-heads'", f 1 1§ 1^ "^ , " Ryoto-gekisu". The combi- 
nation of thesp two words reminds us of the term " shishi-komainu" ■> 
used at the Japanese Court in the same age to denote the images of 
the lion and the unicorn, not separately but as one name for 
both together ^ Therefore I would be inclined to think that the 

J term Ryoto-gehisu originally denoted one kind of ships, adorned 
with a dragon-head in front and a yih-head behind, if a passage 
of the Jikhinsho ^ did not state that on the occasion of a pleasure 
trip in the Emperor Shirakawa's time (1072 — 1086), "Koresue 
played the flute on board of the 'dragon-head', but there was 
no flute playing on board of the 'yih-head'". As to Murasaki 
Shikibu's Diary *, where we read that the new ships were very 
beautiful, and the Hamamatsu Chunagon Monogatari^, these works 
of the beginning and the middl6 of the eleventh century, as well 
as the Mgwa monogatari" (about 1100), which states that the 
Emperor made a pleasure trip with '■'■rydto-gekisu'", seem to speak 
of one kind of ships. The Kagahushu \ however, which dates 

1 "^ j^ , Sect, ^fi ^K ^^ , compiled in the first half of the sixth century of 

our era by SrAO T'^ong, ^ j^ ; quoted in the Kokushi daijiien, B| ^ -1r ^^ 

^ffi , p. 2338, s. V. §g flj |j& g* jlft , Ryuzu (mistake instead of ryoto) gekisu 
no fune. 

2 Cf. my treatise on "The Dog and the Cat in Japanese Superstition", Transactions 
of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Vol. XXXVII, Part I, pp. 54—62. 

3 -j- =fjj j^^ written shortly after 1252; Ch. X, K. T. K. Vol. XV, p. 823. 

4 Written from 1008 to 1010; Gunsho ruiju, nr 321, Vol. XI, p. 591. 

^ ^i # 4* '^^ W #1 ^' ^'•"^" ^y SUGAWARA KOHYO {^ j^,^^)'^ 

(Jaughter (born in] 1008), consort of FujiwaRA no Toshimitsu (^ ^, who died in 
1058); Ch. I. 

6 ^ ^ i^ ^- Ch. XX (:^^ ^), K. T. K. Vol. XV, p. 1344; Ch. VIII, p. 1078. 

7 ~^ ^ ^, written in 1444 by the Buddhist priest Shaku no Hattotsu, 

W^ ab m, : Ch. mwt 



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from 144:4, says: "'Dragon-head' and 'Yih-head' are two different 
names of ships", which agrees with the words of the JikkinshoK 

These Chinese ships are different from the- "dragon -boats" used 
in China on the fifth day of the fifth month at the water festival. 
The latter are real boats used in regatta's, or fancy dragon-boats, 
carried through the streets and burned at the sea-shore as sub- 
stitutes which take away all evil influences. No doubt De Gtroot's ' 
explanation of this festival, as being based on sympathetic magic, 
is right. As we shall see below ', the Chinese used to make clay 
dragoiis to cause rain. In the same way their dragon-boat-races y 
are certainly intended to represent fighting dragons, in order to 
cause a real dragon fight, which is always accompanied by heavy 
rains. The dragon-boats carried through . the streets may also 
serve to cause rain, although they are at the same time considered 
to be substitutes. 

As to the enormous dragon, made of linen, bamboo and paper, 
and carried in procession through the streets on the 15 th of the 
first month, a red ball being carried in front of him, this was 
formerly explained by De Gtroot * as an imitation of the Azure 
Dragon , the head of which (a star) in remotest ages in the 
beginning of spring rose and set at the same time as the sun 
(the fiery ball), as if it persecuted this celestial globe and finally 
succeeded in swallowing it ^. As to his later explanation con- 
cerning the thunder, belched out by the dragon, we may refer to 
this Book, Ch. IV (Ornaments), § 4. 



§ H. "Dragon-tail-road" and other words connected with the dragon. 

The " Dragon-tail-road'\ hIJ?^' Lung-wei-tao, was the road 
ascending straight southward to the She yuen Hen, '^ tC ^ > 
a building belonging to the Chinese Emperor's palace. Along this 
road the visitors came to be received in audience (:([J M)^y 
His Majesty, who always faced the South (^ 0). In imitation 
the road before the Taikyokuden, a building belonging to the 



1 Cf. the Nambako, Sft jj^ '^J^ , written by Okamoto Yasutaka, |e^ 2b "^ ^ , 

who lived 1798—1878; Ch. II, "J^ , Hyakka seUurin, Vol. ^ "^ — • , P- 636. 

2 Feles annuelles a, Emoui, Vol. I, pp. 372 sqq. 

3 This Book, Ch. VI (causing rain). 

4 FStes annuelles, Vol. I, p. 369. 

5 Cf. SoHLEGEL, Uranographie Chinoise, pp. 55 sqq. 

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Japanese Palace, was also called Ryubido, "Dr^gon-tail-rdad" '. 
Other words borrowed from China are the following: Ryuteki, 
fl"^. "dragon-flute"; ryubin, f|^, "dragon's whiskers", a 
mat woven from rush^; according to the Pao F'oh-tsze {Sect. 
^ j^, Oh. IV, nr 17) it is the name of a kind of grass produced 
by the whiskers of the dragon ridden by Hwang Ti. The oflBcials 
who could not ascend the dragon got hold of its whiskers, but by 
their weight pulled them out. Where the whiskers fell down, 
the "Dragon's whiskers herb" shot up (cf. below, Book I, Ch. 
VI, § 1); ryutan, fflJ, prono^^nced rindo, "Dragon's liver", a 
species of gentian; three of these flowers, together with five sasa 
( ^ , a kind of small bamboo), formed the badge of the Minamoto 
Family (sasa-rindo). ^ 

§ 1'2. Dragon-gate. 

: The Sin shi San TsHn hi^ says: "Lung men (^| f^, "Dragon- 
gate") is another nanae for Ho tsin (j^q]'*^, "Ford of the Hwang 
Ho "). Several jtho usands o fJbig-fa hnR na wftmHa. nndei^-tlm-Byftgan^ 
^atg__without_bei ng able t^ _ascfindjt (i. e. to swim against the 
^urrent)rThose whicli^ucHfifid_in_ascendingit be come dragons; 
those whichTailTemainfishes". 



5 flsh changing Into a dragon, is represented on the altar 
table of the Yuh-Fuh-tien in the Fah-yu temple on P'u t°o shan 
(BoERSCHMANN , Die Baukiinst und religiose Kultur. der Chinesen, 
Vol. I, p. 65), and dragons trying to grasp the mysterious fiery 
"pearl", which is hanging in the Dragon-gate, are seen in the 
same temple (1.1., pp. 46, 87, cf. below. Book 1, Ch. IV, § 4). 

As we shall see below (Book II, Ch. XI, § 2, B), there are 
in Japan several Dragon-gate waterfalls, and also, in the province 
of Kii, a Dragon-gate mountain. The latter reminds us of the 
Lung-men mountain between the rivers I and Lo, not far from 
the confluence of these rivers. ^ 



i Ryuan zuiMtsu, ^ ^ |^ ^ , written in 1819 by Kurihara SHiNJiJ(NoBUMiTSu), 
^^ j^ 'j^ 7L ; Ch. IX; Hyakka setsurin. Vol. ^j ~f» ^, p. 488. 

2 ^g , lin; Kokushi daijiten, p. 2338, s. v. ryubin. 

3 Ryuan zuihilsu, 1.1., pp. 485 sq. 

4 :^ ^ ^ ^ =2 , written by a certain Sin, ^ ; quoted T. S., Sect. -^ 

0,Ch.l28, f|^|E^-^,p.l3a: M ^ ^ ^ M f^ . i^ M 

E fMf i^„.,. .»,«^« C<7„.' I..' • iSt -X-> 'Vjfti TT^l T Jn __ J r» 



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§ 13. Dragon's dens. 

We read in the Sheu shen lieu ki': "On mount K'iu in Wu- 
ch'^ang (in Hu-kwang province) there was a dragon's den. Whenever 
the inhabitants saw a divine k^iu ( ^L ) fly out of and into the 
den, the year was dry, but when they prayed to this dragon 
it rained". 

Another dragon's den is mentioned in the Cheh-kiang fung-chi, 
"General Memoirs concerning Cheh-kiang",^ where we . read : 
"On mount Pien in Hu-cheu there is a Yellow Dragon's Cavern. 
At the top there is a spring which dashes forth fronj the cave,^ 
called the 'Golden Well spring'; the cave is also called the 
'Golden Well cave'. The cavern is so deep that one cannot see 
its end. At the time of the Liang dynasty a yellow dragoX 
appeared in it. For this reason King Yueh of Wu erected a shriiie 
in order to sacrifice to the. dragon". Another dragon's den, 
mentioned in the Kwah i chi, will be treated below in connection 
with the Indian I^aga-kings (Ch. IX). 

§ 14. Dragon herds. 

According to the Shih cheu ki^ herds of dragons assemble at 
Fang chang island in the centre of the Eastern sea. The Luh i 
ki^ relates about a so-called "Blue smoke temple" situated on 
an island. During several days a cloud of smoke hung above the 
sanctuary. Suddenly one morning the waves leapt up violently, 
a herd of dragons appeared at the surface and entered the Han 
river. The big ones were several chang long, the small ones over 
a chang. Some were yellow, others black, red, white or blue, and 



¥ . li ^ in M . 

2 ^ ^ ^ ^ (cf- Wylie, 1.1., p. 45: 16th century, revised 1684 and 1736), quoted 
T.S., 1.1. Ch. 129, |g ^ ^, p. 136: »^J j\] t Ul ^ M f I *?l^ . TS 

^n^^<. ^^^M. *^^#?i^o 9^'^mM 

^ ~{^ fM bE ' ^'■'*'*'^° '" ^^^ ^^" dynasty ; p. 9a. 

4 ^ S fE 1 "Writings on Recorded Wonders", written by Tti KWang-t'ikg, a 
Taoist priest who lived in the latter part of the ninth century (cf. De Groot, Rel_ 
Syst, Vol. V, p. 630, note 2), quoted T. S. 1.1., Cli. 129, |£ ^ Zl. P- l^a. 



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they resembled cows, horses, donkeys or sheep. Forming a row 
of fifty they followed one another into the mouth of the Han 
river ; then they returned to the temple. So they went to and 
back several miles, sometimes hidden sometimes visible. This 
lasted for three days and then stopped. 

§ 15. Dragon's pearls. 

According to Chwang tsze' a "pearl of a thousand pieces of 
gold {ts^ien hiny is certainly to be found in a pool of nine layers, 
(i.e. very deep) under the throat of a li-lung or "horse-dragon". 
The Sh uh i H^ (sixth century) states_that_so^cal^ 
are spitj out bv^ dra gons. like_snake-jLearls bv-Snakes. In the Lung, 
ching luh^ me read about a dragon which in the shape of a 
little child was playing with three pearls before the entrance of 
his den. When a man approached he fled into the cavern and, 
reassuming his dragon form, put the pearls in his left ear. The 
man cut off the ear, in order to take possession of the pearls,' 
but they vanished together witli the dragon himself. 

Another legend * tells us about a man who was very fond <ii 
wine and from a female sien in the mountains obtained a pearl 
which she said to be kept by the dragons in their mouths in 
order to replace wine. 

De Groot ^ mentions "Thunder-pearls" (|f 3|^, lei-chu), "which 
dragons have dropped from their mouths, and which may thoroughly 
illuminate a whole house during the night". "Perhaps", says 
De Groot, "these objects may be the relics of an age of stone". 

§ 16. Dragon's eggs. 

Dragon's eggs are b eautiful stones pick e d up in the mountains 
or at the^iver sideT^nd preserved till they split amidst thunder, 



1 nmmm- ^^^z^M^^jimzmmmm 

3 §|| iK^ ^ , written in the T'ang dynasty by Liu Tsung-yuen, M1\ ^ j^ , 
Ch. II. 

4 Lang Men ki, jp|} ^ p^ (see above p. 74, note 6), Ch. d:l . 



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rain_aDd^j[ia3! kDe3s and -i]ie_^OTing dragon ascends to the sky. 
Much_w;aimL_comes_osL_St.tl^^ 

appea£s^n_theform__of_ a very sm allsnake. or water-lizard, which 
grows larger_and~larger)JDLji^^ moments. ' An old. woman, wlio 
"hadr-fburmfive such eggs in the grass, took the little snakes to 
the river and let them go, whereupon the dragons gave her the 
faculty of foretelling the future. Thjis "DragOn-mother", as the 
people called ^er, because, when she was washing clothes in the 
river, fishes (the subjects of the dragons) used to dance before 
her, became so famous on account of her true prophecies, that 
even the Emperor wished to consult her. She died, however, on 
her way to the capital, and was buried on the eastern bank of 
the river; but the dragons made a violent storm arise and trans- 
ferred the grave to the opposite side of the stream. ^ 

The same story is told in the Nan yueh chi^, but there the 
dragons are said to -have several times drawn back the ship by 
which the old woman against her will was transported to the 
capital. At last the plan was given up for fear of the dragons. 
According to the Kwah i chi* there is always much wind and 
rain near the Dragon- mother's grave; then people say: "The 
dragons wash the grave". 

In • the Shan-si fung-chi ^ we read about a dragon- woman who 
jumped out of a big egg, found at the side of a pool. She gave 
wealth to the house where she lived, but at last she ran away 
and in the form of a snake disappeared into the crack of a rock 
in the mountains. 

The author of the Mung ¥i pih fan " says that he often saw 
a dragon's egg, preserved in a case in the Kin shan monastery 
in Jun cheu (an old name for Chin-kiang-fii in Kiang-su). It 
resembled a hen's egg, but it was much larger. Its weight was 



i T'ai-pHng kwang ki, Ch. 424; Lang huen ki, Cb. ~K ; KwSi-sin tsah-shih suh- 

tsih, ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ . written by Cheu Mih, ^ ^ , wbo lived in the 
second half of the thirteenth and in the beginning of the fourteenth century; Ch. ~J\ , 
p. 23. 2 T'^ai-pHng kwang ki, ibidem. 

4 T. S., Ch. 130, p. 7a. 

5 lil ® ii ^' 1"°*^'* T.S., Ch. 131, ^|» ||, p. 17a. 

® ^^ ^ ^^ Wt' written about the middle of the eleventh century by Ch'^en 
KwoH, y^ i^ (cf. Bretschneider, Botanicon Sinicum, Journal of the North-China 
branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1881, New series, Nr XVI, Part I, pp. 137, 173, 
nr 510). 

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very small, and it gave a hollow sound. This egg had been foun^ 
in the T'ien shing era (1023—1032) in the midst of the Grea 
Eiver, and by Imperial orBer had been 'presented to the monastery 
That very year, however, a great flood washed away a larg 
number of houses near by, and the people ascribed this to th 
dragon's egg. 

According to a work of the sixteenth century ' of our era thi 
dragon's eggs are found in times of heavy rains. Further, wi 
read there that in 1469 a fisherman picked up a big egg, a 
large as a human head, five-coloured, the lower end pointed am 
the upper round. If one shook it, there was a sound as of wate 
inside the egg, which was very heavy and luke-warm. Th( 
people worshipped it, looking upon it as a supernatural thing 
A diviner declared it to be a dragon's egg. 

^^^^ 7- Dragon's bones, sk ins, tontVi, Tl ffVTig, V.ygia ii, Iwnyn, pl n nnntn o-anH 

" foetus, usedas_me^icixies»— ■- ^ 

Among the nine ingredients of spectre-killing pills, mentioned 
by De Gtkoot ^, we find "Dragon's bones", "certain fossil bones 
t6 be found in the shops Of leading apothecaries". There is, indeed 
an extensive medical literature on the curative power of thest 
bones, which are probably remains of prehistoric animals. 

The Pen-ts'ao hang-muh ^ is, as in all medical matters, the besi 
source of our knowledge about these bones and the use made oi 
them by the Chinese physicians. According to some of the authors 
referred to by Li Shi-chen, the learned author of this medical 
standard work, dragon's bones are cast-oflf skins of living dragons 
for these animals are said to cast off not only their skins bul 
also their bones ; according to others they are the remains a\ 
dead dragons. Li Shi-chen, on comparing all the different views 
and tales, arrives at the conclusion that the dragon, although a 
divine being, -certainly dies like other animals, and that tht 
Pen king *, one of his principal sources, is right in declaring tht 
dragon's bones to belong to dead dragons. 



1 Suh wen Men fung k'ao, ^^ "^ Sir ^ffi ^^ , 'written by Wakg K'i, ^ jyf 
who obtained official rank in ISBl ; Ch. 224. 

2 Rel. Syst., Vol. VI, p. 1087. 

4 2k ■^■- Under this abbreviated title the Shen Nung Pen ts'ao-king, "Classica 
work on Medicines of (the Emperor) Shen Nung", the oldest medical work, is quotet 
in the Pen-ts'^ao kana-muh. The work itself is lost. Of. Bretsohneider. Botanicor 



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As to the places where they are found, the Ming i pieh luh ' 
says : « They come from (lift, are produced in) the valleys of Tsin 
land (Shansi province) and from spots where dead dragons are 
lying in caverns on the steep water banks in T'ai Shan. They are 
gathered at indefinite times" \ "Nowadays", says the same author, 
"many bones are exported from the centre of Liang, Tih and 
Pa (Sz'-chVen province)". ^ 

Lei Hiao* remarks: "Those from .Yen cheu, Ts'^ang cheu and 
T'ai yuen are the best. Among these bones. those which are thin 
and have broad veins are of female dragons, those which are 
coarse and have narrow veins belong to male ones. Those which 
have five colours are the best, the white and the yellow ones 
belong to the middle kind, and the black ones are of the most 
inferior quality. As a rule those with veins lengthwise running 
are not pure, and those which have been gathered by women 
are useless." 

In Wu P'u's ^ opinion the blue and white ones are good, and 
Su Kung" says: *At the present day all (the bones) come from 
Tsin land. Th e fresh and hard ones are not good; those bearing 
five col ours ^are^ good. _The b lue, vellowr~rea7 wliiLe an d:151ae£ 
-^ ^es-atsD" according to tEmr~ coloim~correspo ud wiL iT'tEe'vi^cera, 
as the five chih (felicitous plantsJ7~the five cty&tals'Xshih ying) 
and the five kinds of mineral bole {shih chi)". The meaning of 
the lasts entence is the following. The five colour's (blue, whitgL. 
red, black and yellow) correspond to the~tive viscera" (liver, lungs, 



* ^ ^ ^Ij ^ ' written by T'ao Hung-kikg, ^ ^1^ ^ ('iSl - 536). Cf. De 
Gboot, Rel. Syst., Vol. I, p. 274; Bretschneider, 1.)., p. 42; Giles, Bibliogr. Diet., 
p. 718,^ s. V. : "one of the most celebrated adepts in the mysteries of Taoism". Quoted 
in the Pen-ts'ao kang-muh, 1.1., p. 16. 

3 Pen-U'ao kang-muh, ibidem: -^^^UJ^^CfII*^, 

4 H" ffij^, the author of the Pae chi lun, J;-^ ^ f^^ who lived A. D. 420—477. 
Cf Bretschneider, 1.1., p. 41, nr 6': "A treatise in 3 books, explaining the medical 
virtues of 300 drugs and giving directions for the preparation of medicines". Quoted 
in the Pen-ts'ao kang-muh, 1.1. 

5 ,©. ^- , the author of the Wu shi Pen-ts'^ao, J©. Rf 2b ^M. 1 written in the 
first half of the third century. Quoted ibidem. Cf Bretschneider, 1. 1., p. 40, nr 5. 

6 ^H| ^ , who with 23 other scholars in the middle of the seventh century A. D. 
revised and completed the T'^ang Pen-ts'^ao, ^ 2JS ^., thence called the T'^ang Sin 
Pen-ts^ao, j^ ^Jx '^'M.' "New Pen-ts'ao of the T'ang". Cf Bretschneider, 1.1., p. 
44, nr 11. Quoted in the Pen-ts'ao kang-muh, ibidem. 

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heart, kidneys and spleen) and to the so-called mansions (gall, 
small and great intestines, bladder and stomach), as we learn 
from the list given by De Groot, Uel Syst. Vol. IV, p. 26. ^Em^ 
this reason probably the use of the dragon^ bones as medicines 
was ditferent _ac cordip g tQ-ibaM - r.nlmiTn. with Tp.iTard t o th p rol"iir 
of t he organ to be p.nrpd. 

The preparation of the bones is described as follows by Lei 
HiAO. "For using dragon's bones first cook odorous plants; bathe 
the bones twice in hot water, pound them to powder and put 
this in bags of gaze. Take a couple of young swallows and, after 
having taken out their intestines and stomach, put the bags in 
the swallows and hang them over a well. After one uight take 
the bags out of the swallows, rub the powder and mix it into 
medicines for strengthening the kidneys. The efficacy of such a 
medicine is as it were divine !" ^ In Li Shi-chen's ^ time, however, 
they were only roasted on the fire till they were red and then 
rubbed to powder, or fresh bones were used. In the same passage 
"Tie refers to an author of the Sung dynasty ', who says that the 
bones are to be soaked in spirits for one night, then dried on 
the fire and rubbed to powder. Further, according to Chen K^uen *, 
some are a little poisonous, and (in preparing and using them) 
fishes and iron utensils are to be avoided (dragons dislike iron, 
cf. above, this chapter, § 3, pp. 67 sqq.). 

A s to tli g_illnesses cured' by means of drago n^s bones, t hdr 
numbfir-4s-JargeM5ysefl4eKy,-±^ 

of bab Jgs^^Jboils- in "tE e~15owe ls and internal ulcers, para ly:Si3 of_ 
the legs,_illnesses of prflgn an t."wm ^ fm — rernitteB t-feTe^-aiad J'' bscesse s 
T^&^j^...Jods^^^^~^^'-i?[nS^^v^Qiiv\ medicine^ Bleeding of the 
nose or ears isstopped ~Wf 



1 Pen-ts'ao kang-muh, 1.1., p. 2a: ^ ^ „ Hi ffl ^ *^ i^ M ^ 

2Ibidem: ^;^ j^l ^ ^ M m^^% ^ . ^> ^^ ^ M # » 

3 Ch'^en Yuen-tsikg, W -tt* mi , author of the Shi lin kwang ki, '^ Jyfc ^ 
g£ (cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. II, p. 713; Bretsohneider, 1.1., p. 186, nr 719). 

Quoted in the Pen-ts'^ao kang-muh, ibidem. 

4 ^ m 1 author of the Yoh sing pen-ts'^ao, ^ '^ 2JJ ^ , in the first half 
of the seventh century A. D. (cf. Bretschneideb, 1 1., p. 44, nr 10). Quoted ibidem, 



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them, and, when dried on the fire and ground, they are also 

used against navel abscesses of babies. In short, the strong Yang 

J>ower of these bones ma kes, of course, the Yin demons which 

have c"omiortably established themselves in the h uman body take 

"^ot heir heels as s oon as medicine, prepared from the bones, arrives '. 

Spart from the medical works we may mention the following 
passages. The Shuh i ki'^ (6th century) says: "Accoi;ding to 
tradition a dragon, when a thousand years old, casts off his 
bones in the mountains. Now there are dragon mounds, out of 
which dragon brains are taken". We read in the same work: 
"In P'u-ning district (Kwantung province) there is a 'Dragon- 
burial islet'. The elders say : ' The dragons have cast off their 
bones on this islet. There are at the present day still many 
dragon's bones'. Thus on mountains and hills, on hillocks and 
cavernous cliffs, on all places where the dragons raise clouds and 
rain, dragon's bones are found. There are many of them in the 
ground, sometimes deep, sometimes near to the siirface; teeth, 
bones, spines and feet, all are there. The big ones are some tens 
of chang or fully ten chang long, the small ones only one or 
two ch^ih or three or four ts^un. The bodies are all complete. 
As they had been gathered, I saw them". ^ 

At the time of the T"'ang dynasty the tribute of the land of 
Ho-tung principality, Ho-chung department, in Ho-tung province, 
partly consisted of dragon's bones. * 



1 T.S., Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 127, f| i^P ^ ^' P' ^! Pen-ts'-ao kang-muh, 1.1., 
2Ch. II, p. 5a: ^ ^ ^f' ^ W\ M \U ^^ ^ ^ . ^ ^ M M . 

H M^ ^H^!^^.<ro ^® ^^^ ^^^ ^^™^ ^" ^^^ ■*^"'' *'^"^ ^"^^ ''""*' 

^ ^ ^ i^, written by Hwang Hiu-fuh, ^ '^ ^ i in- the Sung dynasty; 
Ch. IX (quoted T. S., 1. 1., Ch. 130, ^ ^ ^ , p. ^b), where it is said by a man, 
who sold dragon's bones, teeth, horns, heads and spines on the market. "Some of 
them", said he, "are flve-coloUred, others white like floss silk; some have withered or 
rotten in the long course of the years". 
4 New Books of the T'ang dynasty, ^ ||, Ch. XXXIX, nr 29, j^ g| 

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Li Chao ' says in his Kwoh sA^j?^i ("Commentary to the Dynastic 
Histories")^: "When the spring water comes and the fishes ascend 
the Dragon-gate (comp. above, this chapter, § 12, p. 86), there are a 
great many of cast-off bones, which are gathered by the people 
to make medicines from them. Some of them are five-coloured. 
The Dragon-gate is Tsin land, which agrees with the statement 
of the Pen king (comp. above). Are the dragon's bones perhaps 
the bones of these fishes?" So Sung \ who quotes this passage, 
instructs us that in his time these bones were found in many 
districts of Ho tung province. 

Another work of the eleventh century * tells us about a man 
who in a dark night saw a branch of a tree which spread a bril- 
liant light. He broke it off and used it as a torch. The next 
morning he discovered that the light was due to a cast-off skin 
of a dragon, in size resembling a new shell of a cicada, and 
consisting of head, horns, claws, and tail. Inside it was hollow, 
yet it was solid, and wheii he knocked against it, it produced a 
sound like precious stones. The brightness of its light blinded 
the eye, and -in the dark it was a shining torch. He preserved 
it as a treasure in his house. 

The strong light spread by the cast-off dragon's skins is, of 
course, due to the strong Tang power of the dragons. 

In 1553, when, the water being very low, a dragon's skeleton 
was discovered on a small island in a river, the people were 
all very anxious to get one of the bones. " 

Also dragon's teeth were consid ered to be a good medicin e. The 
Pen-ts^ao kang-muli ^ quotes 'St GHi^^Ts']n-*pwbe--6ftidT'''^3!s'a rule 



2 ^ §N ^^, written in the beginning of the ninth century. T. S., 1.1., Ch. 127, 
p. 8b. 

3 ^ ^, author of the Sin i siang fah yao, ^ /^ ^ ^ ^, an astronomic 
work written at the close of the eleventh century (cf Wvlie, p. 107); quoted ibidem. 

4 The Ch'^un chu ki wen, ^^ ^^ -f^ ^^ , ten chapters of miscellanies written by 
Ho Wei, 'fej'^^f > who lived in the eleventh century (cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. 
IV, p. 110); Ch. II, p. 11. 

5 Shang han lun fiaopien, -^t ^^ g^ -j^ 4^, written in 1589 by Fang Yiu- 

CHIH, ~j^ /^ ^ ; Sect. 2(5: ^. 

6 L. 1., p. 4a. 

7 ^^ ^ yj , a famous physician who lived in the second half of the sixth cen^ 
tury, author of the Lei hiing yoh tui, fl* ^^ ^ ^ (cf. Bretschneider, 1.1., p. 



-IK* yt* 



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they are good when getting (i. e. being mixed with)" jen-ts^an 
(ginseng) and cow-yellow (cow-bezoar), but they fear (i. e. it is 
not good to mix or prepare them with) gypsum and iron utensils". 
The illnesses which are cured by means of dragon's teeth are 
enumerated as follows in the Shen Nung Pen-ts^ao king ' : " Beings 
that kill the vi tal spirit; when adults have spasms or epileptic 
fits ^ convul sions or madness , when they run as madmen and their 
b reath is~tie(l under t hSF heart y so that they cannot breathe 
(i. e. when they are asthmatic); furthe r, the five (kinds o f )^ts 
^iIid~i:tlB twelve (InnHs oi') cnny nl sions of_ b abies ". 

According to Chen K'^Cen ^ they " quiet the heart and calm 
down the souls (the hwun and the p''ohy\ Chen Jeh-hwa ^ declares 
them to cure head-ache, melancholy, hot fever, madness, and 
(possession . of ) kwei and mei (demons). They also cure liver diseases, 
for "as the hwun which is stored away in the liver can change 
itself, those whose hwun is erring about and is not fixed are 
cured by means of dragon's teeth". * Li Shi-chen gives the fol- 
lowing explanation: "Because the dragon is the god of the Eastern 
quarter, his bones, horns and teeth all conquer liver diseases" ^. 

DragQi i!s horns are used for curing aboj i t the Fi nmo il lup mnn nn- 
JJi o a c mentioned with regard to th e drag o n's LeeLh. " " " 

Dragon's brains w e re believed to stop dysente ry ', and the liver 

of this divine animal, s ometimes of a living one , was prescrib ed 

_ by some physicians in 'difficult - cases^_ SQmetimes a royal patient 

for this reason even ordered to kill the dragon of a pond, which 

used to hear the people's prayers for rain in times of drought 



1 Quoted ibidem: ^ '^ ^ , i^ A "M M ^ ^ MB ^ . & ^ 

^i!> T ^ ^ ^ il B^ .i . >J^ la 3l 1 + z: )li , 

2 Quoted ibidem : ^M. j\j) , -^f zjfe &^ • About the hwun and the p'^oh see De 
Groot, Rel. Syst, Vol. IV, Part. I, Ch. I, pp. 4 sqq., p. 23. 

3 1^ Q ^^, who lived in the Sung dynasty and -wrote the King yen fang, 
M. 'H ^ (Bretschneideb, 1. 1., p. 161, nr 338). Quoted ibidem : '^j^ j^ f^ ^ 

4 Hij Shuh-wei, ffj^ ;fe ^S^i who lived in the time of the Sung dynasty and 
wrote the Pen shi fang, jfe ^ "^ (Bbetschneider, 1.1., p. 179, nr 588). Quoted 
ibidem: mM^tl^^^^ ^^M^^ ^ ^ 'i^ Z l^MM . 

6 P^-W^aa kang-muh, 1. l.i p. 46. ^ 

7 T'ao Hung-king, quoted ibidem. The "brain of a dragon a thousand years old" is 
mentioned among a hundred medicines in the Shuh i ki, Ch. II, p. oa. * - 

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and guarded the castle of the prince. That very day a terrible 
thuuderstorm broke forth and the dragon flew away; the castle, 
no longer guarded by its tutelary god, soon fell a prey to the 
enemy who stormed and destroyed it like in former days '. 
Another time we read about a dragon which by the mighty 
charm of a Taoist doctor was forced to descend into a jar of 
water. After having cut out the liver of the living animal he 
gave it a patient, the wife of a prefect, to eat, and she recovered ^. 
Placentas..jtX[drfoetus of'dTagoHg,JiQundin Pa and ShjilL(Sz'-ch'wen 
province), were said to cure diseasesoTthe^b^od^^andJ-hose of 
women after delivery. ' " "" 

§ 18. Dragon's blood, fat and saliva. 

The Tiu-yang isah tsu^ says: "When dragon's blood enters the 
earth it becomes hu-poh, amber. 

- As to dragon's fat, we learn from the Shih i hi ^ that a tower, 
lighted by means of it, spread such a brilliant light that it was 
seen at a distance of a hundred miles. This, light was said by 
some people to be a lucky omen and was worshipped by them 
from far. The wick was made of "fite- washed cloth" (asbestos 
cloth which can be cleaned by fire), twined into a rope. 

With regard to the dragon's saliva we read the following in 
the . Pen-ts^ao kdng-muh " : * Wang Ki ' says : 'From't he^s aliva spit 
out by dras^ons perFnme is made '. Li Shi-chen (the author him- 
self) says: 'Dragon's saliva is seldom used as a medicine; it is 
only mixed into perfumes. It is said that it can bind camphor 



1 Mih k'^oh hwui si, ^^ ^^ :^ S , written in the eleventh century by P'eng 
Shing, ^ ^ (cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. IV, p. 864, note 2). Quoted T.S., Sect. 

^^,Ch. 130, ^^^,p. 36. 

2 Chao ye tsHen tsai, SB S*.^- W^, "Record of all matters relating to the Court 

and abroad", ascribed to Chang Shoh, BB-*^, who probably lived in the first Half 

of the 8th century. T. S., Sect, jp^ S, Ch. 306, quoted by De Ghoot, Rel. Si/st,, 
Vol. VI, p. 1034, note 1. 

3 Pen-ts'^ao kang-muh, 1. 1., p. 5a. 

* M ^ 11 ^ (°^"*^ century), Ch. XI ( ^ ^), p. 66: f| j^ 7\^ i^fc 

5 :f^ ^ IE (fourth century), Ch. X, Sect. ;^ 5?^ |ll , P- 36. 

6 L. 1., p. 5a. 

7 vT ^^ , a celebrated physician of the 16th century, author of the Pen-Woo hui- 



I - ^f*. .jd^ y.cl 



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and musk for several tens of years without evaporating. 
Further, it is said that, when it is burned, a blue smoke floats 

through the air Last spring the saliva spit out by 

a herd of dragons appeared floating (on the sea). The abori- 
gines gathered, obtained and sold it, each time for two thousand 
copper coins." 

The Tiu hwan hi wen ' instructs us that the most precious of 
all perfumes is dragon's spittle, and that the inhabitants of Ta- 
shih land used to watch the vapours arising for half a year or 
even two or three years from the same spot of the sea. When they 
vanished, this was a token that the dragons which had been 
sleeping there all the time had gone away. Then the people went 
to the spot' in order to gather the saliva of those dragons. Accor- 
ding to another explanation, found in the same passage, the 
dragons lived in whirlpools in the open sea. The spittle which 
they emitted was hardened by the sun, and these hard pieces 
were blown ashore by the wind. When fresh it was white, gradually 
it became purple, and finally black (amber, generally 'considered 
to be the excrements of cachalots, i. e. sperm whales, is yellowish). 

This perfume reminds us of the "Dragon-fight perfume", 
mentioned in the Tsu fing shi yuen 2, which is said to be pro- 
duced by fighting dragons. One pill of it makes a large cloud of 
perfume arise. 

According to the Lang hiien hi ^ the Emperor Shun used the 
saliva of a purple dragon as ink in writing the names of holy 
ministers on tablets of jade, those of sages, on tablets of gold 
and those of talentful ministers on tablets of quartz- crystal; those 
of ordinary ministers were written with ordinary ink on tablets 
of wood. In order to obtain the saliva he ordered Yu Hu to rear 
a purple dragon. The latter daily made the animal drop saliva 
by holding a swallow, which he had cooked (the favourite food 
of the dragons, cf. above, p. 68) before it without immediately 
giving it to eat. This made the dragon's mouth water, and 
a large quantity of saliva dripped down. Then Yu Hu filled 
a vessel with it, whereupon he gave the swallow to the 



^ i& ^ ^E ^ ' '*^'''''^''" H Chang Shi-nan, ^ j^^ ^, in the Sung dynasty; 
Ch. VII; quoted T. S., 1. 1., Ch. 130, ^ ^, p- 5a. 

2 JJlH. J^ ^ /%' quoted in the Japanese Buddhist dictionary entitled Bukkyo 



iroha jilen, Vol. IF, p. 63, s. v. Ryu-to, ^g ^ . 

3 ^ ^ IE, written by I Shi-chen, '^ jH: 3^ , in the Yuen dynasty; T. S.^ 

1. 1., Ch. 131, p. 16. 

Veih. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensch. (Afd. Lelterk.) N. R. Dl XIII, N°, 2. 7 

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dragon. In this way ' lie daily got one hoh (a gill) of saliva, 
which was mixed with hwui sUh (|§ ^, the "Herb of the Sieri", 
fjlj !^)- In the time of Yao this herb grew before the aadienfce 
hall. It wore flowers in all four seasons. If one rabbed its fruit 
and mixed it with a purple dragon's saliva, a liquid of a 
genuine red colour was produced, which penetrated into gold 
and jade and thus could be used in writing names on the tablets 
mentioned above. 



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CHAPTER IV. 

Ornaments. 

§ 1. S^obel a o f i Baparia l dignity and fertilizing raiii,_ repi:!aa6iitgd 
^,on garments, honorary gates, coffins etc 

As we have seen above (Ch. 1, § 2, p. 39), the Shu king states 
that the dragon belonged to the emblematic figur es depictej __oa_ 
the upper sacrihcial garment: of _Lli e EmperOfT" 

It is not to be wondered at that tbis^divinPi giypr of rain, at 
the same time symbol of a good sov ereign and his bliss fnl 
government^^s hould be represented among the Imperial ornaments. 
~Th e~so^^called shah ( ^ ) are described by_ DE G-root ' as square 
boards of wood covered with white linen, yi['^i-h^ha.x\f\^(^si fivf^ fppt. 
lo ng, whip.h in ann ^n t t ImQ s w ^rf^ n^irr(ZA Kg h in d +^^ fnn ort]i 
cars of grandees, and were plan te d inside the pit when the cof Bn 
had been lowered into the grave. These shah d i^layed-the-rapk 
of the grandees b jT emb1e ma±icaL-figftr-as^"The Kien-lung edition 
of the Three Rituals suggests that the two shah which the Son 
of Heaven had in addition to the six of a feudal prince, were 
painted with a dragon, the characteristic symbol of the imperial 
dignity" ^ 

Fou r pedest als_o f the qu inquepartit e decora tive ga te at the 
Tmp^^j^Mi^g toT^^T' "'^iapjay, on every face,_anji.nperi al Dragon, 

-iiSTiai~T3Tffblems'~accompanyiB 



soaring inthe_ 

di vine distributor of fruc tifying rains, namely clouds_ and stars" ^ 
^'-aT jrj^p abaft nf p.ap.h3^(flQEirfrmT- co l am iTg;^m'T5e~prolongation of 
the diftgcniaJs~T)f~^TC~taMet'hf)aise— iB^4he-axe^ 
Min g Tombs) is sculptured with a gi'gantic _ dr.agon, coilJng ltseTT^ 
around it as if climbing the skies"*. 

Wi l li ji'egar d-^te~ honorary gat es-^Ds Groot remarks that the 
tablet placed perpendicularly underneath their highest roof, 



1 Rel. Sijst., Vol. I, pp. 18.5 sqq. 

2 P. i87, fig. 20, a picture of a shah adorned with a dragon. 

3 De Groot, 1. 1., Vol. Ill, p. 1193, plate XL. 

4 P. 1194. 



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displaying the characters f^p g , "By Imperial Decree", or g| ^ , 
"By decree of the Holy One", is supported by a couple of dragons, 
"the symbols of the blessed reign of the Son of Heaven" '. 
• The az ure dragon, symbo]_of J'.hp, ea.stern j] [uarter in ancien t 
^^hina^-roas- to^m seen on the 1eftside_o f the eoffln s^of ^randees in 
the^ Han dy nastyPwhiT e on tKe~right side a wh ite tiger repre sented^ 
the West^We learn tins lrom~~a passa ge _nf the Brrn ks^^^Mjift 
^TSriy Han dynasty ^, quoted by De Gtroot', who also refers to 
/ the Books of the Later Han Dynasty *, whijnJT__a tate that the 
imperial coffins "used to be decoiuted _and, . paintedlJBdtb_a_sun, 
"armoonT" a -Mrd j-a-tOTtolieT^ dragon and a tiger". This was also 
the case in T'ang dynasty X At_the2^es ent d^ thejasel^O r^;:^ 
mental dragons is not l imited to thetune rals of^Em p^^Q^a-OL-^ 
grandees , but al so conimon _people^re jIl6 wed3o e n joy thei r 
nSIes ^ngpow ei;. "OnTEe^ front curtain " (of the catafalque) are' a 
couple of dragons rising out of the waves, surrounded by clouds 
and with a sun between them; the back displays a tiger or 
unicorn, the top exhibits dragons, sundry ornamental flowers, 
and figures representing clouds. Thanks to these clouds and to 
the dragons which produce the same in their quality of watergods, 
the greatest blessings which the Universe can bestow, viz. ferti-" 
lizing rains causing crops to grow and so giving food, raiment 
and wealth, surround^ the dead" '. Tte grave-clothes for women ___ 
in Amoy, called JldragQn:pettdcoat" ^, " dragon-mantle ".?,—,aind__ 



" clquds-maniilla^'!i?i_jire adorned with embroidered dragons amidst 
clouds ^ bats, phenixes, stags, tortoises and cranes . emblems^oT 
^TerHli7i.ng -_rains7~ord~"S^ r jnyj ppfiiTiiaTy~pi^+g^.w.<^--kappTOegfajv^ 
The Li hi^- says that at the great sacrifice to the Duke of 
Chao in the last month of summer "the ruler (of Lu), in his 
drag on- figured robe and cap with pendants, stood at the eastern 



1 Rel. Syst., Vol. Ill, p. 1201. 

3 Vol. I, pp. 315 sq., cf. Vol. II, p. 699. 



2 Ch. 93. 

4 Ch. 16, p. 2. 



5 T.S., Sect. )|ffi ^, Ch. 56.; De Groot, 1.1., Vol. I, p. 317. 

6 According to the Li ki (Ch. 58, p. 39, quoted by De Groot, Vol. I, p. 182) in 
ancient times on the side curtains of the catafalque of a Ruler dragons were depicted. 
Cf. De Groot, 1. 1., p. 183, Fig. 18. 

7 De Gboot, Vol. I, p. 181. 

8 i^^ij^,b6ng-kun. 9 ^ f^ , ftdngr-d. 

10 ^ M, hS-]3oe. 

H De Groot, Vol I, p. 53, Fig. Ill, IV and V. 

12 CouvREUR, Li ki, Vol. I, p. 733, Chap. XII, Ming T'^ang wei, M ^ '^ , 
a 44 . S' 4f$- -S -A* m ttfc: 1 i7or.n c™^«,„j t>„^u.. "ir.^t vvuni „ qo 



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steps". A little further ^ we read:, "For ladles they (the rulers 
of Lu) had that of Hia, with the handle ending in a dragon'^ 
head" and «they had the music-stand of Hia, with its face-board 
and posts, on which dragofis were carved"'; "they had knee- 
covers of Cheu, with dragons" K 



sinda of dragons, used as ornaments.^ 



A well-known work of the end of the sixteenth century, the 
Wuh tsah tsu\ informs us about the nine diflFer ent^oung of the 
_ dragon, whose s hapes are us ed-as-oraam fints according to ihp\r 
nature. J The p^u-lao % dragons which li k_e_to_c ry, are re presented 
^n the tops o f bells, serv ing r,^ handj ps. The *^e-nm «, jwhichJika__ 
- rmisic, are used to a dor n music a l i ns triim eniis. The chH-wen\ 
ffihic h like swallowing, are place d on both ends o fthe ridgepoles 
_olKi()fe~(fo s"wRTfojv_ajj_m]jjaflxiences). The cAao^Wpr noQ^TlSe 
beasta--whidLJike _ precipices, are placed o n the four cnrnp.rs nf 
^^roofau,The ai-hiva", which like to kill, serve as ornaments .o f 
_swfird=grips^The M-pi '», w hich have the„ ^.b3^R-f>:M^h<wa^f^^z^' 
anJ3i:e--E&Bd--o£4i4eEatjira^_are_re presented on the sides of gra ve- 
m onuments . The pH-han '^ w hich like litigation, are placed ov er 
^^isoflL.gat es (in order toJ tefip_g]iardl_The swan-i '\ wh ich like ^ 
to sit dow n ^re represented upon J JifUbases-jiLJ^ndHH^tJdnls ^ 
^ (under the Buddhas' or"Bodhisatt Yasl-fe£t). Th e pa-Ma '\ finallY. 
_big ^tortoises which like to carry heavy objects, are placed under 
_grayeimonurB3:eHtsT^5 



1 CouvREUR, 1. 1, p. 736, § 20: ^ A} ^ M S ^ \^ W. ^ i \^gge, 
I.]., p. 35. 

2 COUVREUR, 1.1., p. 739, §26: '^^^1^%%% )^ ^ Legge, 1.1., p. 37.' 

3 CouvREUR, 1.1., p. 740, § 29: ^ f | :^ , Legge, 1.1., p. 38. 

4 ^ ^ ^, written about 1592 by Sie Chao-chi, ^ ^ y^|j ^ 

5 ^^. 6 PI4.. 7 ^^. ° 

n ^^ -^ , represented in the T. S., Sect. -^ ^ , Ch. 127, and in the Wakan sansai 
. zue, Ch. XLV, p. 674. Of. De Geoot, Rel. Syst, Vol III, p. 1142, Fig. 37, a chH (or li) 
te, , carved in the border crowning a sepulchral tablet of stone. It is mentioned al- 
ready in the third century before our era (in the Lu-shi ch'un-ts'^iu), and described 
in the Shwoh wen as a yellow animal, resembling a dragon, or as a hornless dragon. 

12 ^^. i^mm- '^ mT- 

15 The same facts are to be found in the Wakan sansai zue, Ch. XLV, p. 674, 
and are further explained in the dictionary entitled Ching tsze fang ( jip *#t ^S 

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Further, the same author enumerates nine other kinds of 
dragons — there are so many, says he, because the dragon's nature 
is very lewd, so that he copulates with all animals ' — , which 
are represented as ornaments of different objects or buildings 
according to their liking prisons, water, the rank smell of newly 
caught fish or newly killed meat, wind and rain, ornaments, 
smoke, shutting the mouth (used for adorning key-holes), standing 
on steep places (placed on roofs), and fire. 

§ 3. Ornaments used by Wu-ist priests and mediums. 

De Groot's description of the religious dress of the Wu-ist 
priests (the sai kong ^ of Amoy) contains the following passage. 
"On the left and right (of the pile of mountains, representing 
the continent of the world, embroidered on the back of the 
principal vestment ofthe sai hong), a large dragon riseshigh_ 

aboye the billows, in an attitu de__d'^'^"<'i"g_.aL__g£!g^2!lS"^^'^"^ 
towards the continen t: these animals symboliz e ihe^ J^^Ezmg' 
rains, and are therefore~^ urfDunded by ^■olcr-thread figureswEicP 
represejit— eiQmfe^_a nd so me which resemble .?p?ra/g and~"3e note, 
rolling thunder . . . . . . . There is also a broad b order^of Ijlu a-silk 

grnnnr] flip TippTT^^giTr^itJil m\\\\~ finn nvne'nriTr^rlynqnna wMcll dve 

hpJrM nrf out, n hall, iwohably representing thunder" •*. 

A similar, secondary vestment of a sai kong is adorned with 
" an obl ong piece of_ _bl^6 silk, embroidered wi _t h two drag ons, 
wW.hnT3jitl-Q]n""arba.11j as ajsr)_wjtlTa. continent and wave s over 
whi ch they ana.ii llA — 

"It is then obvious, that the sacerdotal dress of the sai kong 
is a magical dress. The pries t, who wears_ it^_ja. invpsted hy it with, 
the pow er of the Urde rot the World itself, a,nd _thus enabled 
toj:£sto¥e-ihat-Q¥der_svh enever, by me ans^ofjaicriflees^^aja cl magi- 
cal ceremQnifis»_h e is averting unseasonable and c a lamitous events^^ 
such-^as-cfcoua A.^, untimel y and supe ra.buiidanJL rainfall, or .P^lip«ps._ 
Jesides, since the Tao is the mightiest power against the demon 



^ ^ ~K ^ ) p. 60; written in the T^sirig dynasty by Yao Wen-ying, j^ a^ ^ ). 
In many respects the Japanese Lave followed these Chinese rules of ornamentation. 

1 Accoi'ding to the same work (Ch. IX), a cross-breed of a dragon ad a cow is a lin 
(J^fe, a female unicorn); that of a dragon ad a pig is an elephant; and if a dragon 
copulates with a horse, a dragon-horse (cf. above, pp. ^Q sqq.) is born. 

2 0f|j ^- ^ ^^^'- ^y^'^- '^^^ P' ^265, Plate XVIII. 



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world, the vestment endows the wearer with irresistable exor- 
cising power" '. 

On the so-called "embroidered belly", ^ a piece of red cloth 
or silk, suspended on the stomach of the hi tong ', the " divining 
youths" used as mediums, possessed" by gods, "two dragons are 
stitched with gold thread; for dragons are emblems of imperial 
dignity, and consequently also those of the Emperor of Heaven, 
in whose employ the indwelling spirit of the ki tong is, as well 
as all other sAew" *. 

" The ki ( |5L , an instrument for spirit-writing) of a fashionable 
club is as a rule clad in red silk or broadcloth, on which dra,gons 
are stitched with gold thread; for it is clear that, having to 
harbour so often the spirit of a god, the instrument deserves, 
just as well as his image, to wear the dress of divinity, which 
is a mantle embroidered with the said imperial animals. Of such 
a ki' oi higher order, the end below the vertex is also nicely 
carved and gilded, representing the head and scaly neck of a 
dragon or snake" ^. 
, "If the litter (of a ki tong deity, whose image is carried about 
in it) is fitted out completely, there are inserted behind the back 
five thin stafi's, to each of which a triangular flag is fastened, 
embroidered with the emblem of imperal dignity, viz. an ascending 
dragon which vomits a balV ". 

§ 4. The dragons aud the ball. 

As to the ball, "belched out by the two dragons", this reminds 
us at once of the Dragon festival on the 15th day of the first 
month; the ball carried in front of the dragon on that day might 
be also explained in the same way, i. e. as thunder belched out 
by the dragon, and not as the sun, pursued by him. This fact 
was orally pointed out to me by Prof. De Geoot himself '. The . 
ball between the two dragons is often delineated as a spiral, and 
in an ancient charm represented in Koh Hung's Pao Roh-tsze 
(17th section) "a spiral denotes the rolling of thunder from 
which issues a flash of lightning" ^ "In the sign expressing 
lightning, the projecting stroke signifies the flash; therefore its 
effect as a charm is indefinitely increased by lengthening that 



1 L.I., p. 1266. 

4 De Groqt, 1. 1., Vol. VI, p. 1275. 

5 L.I., p. 1297. 6 L.I., p. 1316. 

7 See above, this Book, Ch. IV, § 10. 8 Rel.Sysl, VI, p. 1036, Fig. 3. 

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stroke so that it looks like a spiral which at the same time 
represents the rolling of thunder". ' 

This theory agrees withHiRTH's explanation of the "Triquetrum" 
in connection with the dragon in Chinese and Japanese orna- 
ments ^ HiRTH identifies the "Triquetrum", i.e. the well-known 
three-comma-shaped figure, the Japanese mitsu-tomoe, with the 
ancient spiral, representing thunder, and gives a Japanese picture 
of the thundergod with his drums, all emitting flames and adorned 
with the mitsu-iimoe. But this ornament is not at all limited to 
the drums of the thundergod''; it is, on the contrary, very 
frequently seen even on the drums beaten by children at the Nichiren 
festival in October. At many Japanese temple festivals which have 
no connection whatever with the thundergod or the dragon, the 
same ornament is seen on lanterns and flags. Hirth explains its 
frequent appearance on tiles as a means of warding off lightning, 
based on the rule "similia similibus". This is contrary to the use of 
"sympathetic magic", very common in the Far East*, according 
to which the symbol of thunder would not avert thunder but 
attract it, thus destroying and driving away evil influences. 
Apparently both ideas are found side by side, for images of 
dragons were used to attract them, thus causing rain and thunder, 
but at the same time the thundergod of Mount Atago (with 
whom Shogun. Jizo was identified as Atago Gongen) was wor- 
shipped as the principal protector against fire. But the symbol 
of thunder on the tiles may also serve to drive away all evil 
influences from the buildings, like the dragons represented on 
both ends of the ridgepoles, mentioned above (p. 101). 

Hirth gives a picture from a Japanese work on ornaments, 
entitled Nairyu Tcira ga osa, but the ancient Chinese "Triquetrums", 
nrs 23, 25, 26, 27, are different from the Japanese forms, as the 
former have a circle in the centre and five or eight comma's, 
all placed separately, and turned towards the centre (except in 
nr 28, where they issue from the centre), while the latter consist 
of two or three black comma's interlaced with white and often 
united in the centre. Yet the turning motion is evident in all, 



■1 L.I., p. 1040. 

2- Chinesische Studien, Vol. I, pp. 231 sqq. (Verhandlungen der Berl. Anthi'. Ges,, 
Sitzung vom 22 Juni 1889), "Ueber den Maander iind das Triquetrum in der chinesischen 
und japanischen Ornamentik". 

3 It is not represented on his drums in the picture of the Wakan sansai zue, Ch, 
III, p. 41. 

4 Cf. below. Book I, Ch. V, § 3, and Book II, Ch. Ill, § 10, 



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and the more I reflect upon it, the more I feel inclined to accept 
Hirth's explanation of the mitsu-tomoe and futatsu-tomoe (two 
comma's) as the rolling thunder. Its frequent appearance on 
lanterns, flags, tiles, and, in olden times, on the tomo or 
leather shield worn around the wrist by archers, and its frequent 
use as a badge of arms may be explained by its magic power, 
averting evil and, in some cases, bringing fertilizing rains. I 
formerly believed it to be the Yang and Yin symbol, the third 
comma being the T^ai Kih (^j^/^, the primordium, from which 
Yang and Yin emanate). This primordium,. which in China is repre- 
sented by the whole figure, should by mistake have been represented 
by the Japanese by means of a third comma '. Yang and Yin, Light 
and Darkness, however, are represented by one white and one black 
figure, somewhat resembling comma's and forming together a circle. 
It would be very strange if the ancient Japanese, who closely 
imitated the Chinese models, had altered this symbol in such a 
way that its fundamental meaning got lost; for replacing the 
two white and black . comma's with two or three black ones 
would have had this effect. Moreover, in Japanese divination, based 
on the Chinese diagrams, the original Chinese symbol of Yang 
and Yin is always used and placed in the midst of the eight 
diagrams. Thus the futatsu-tomoe and mitsu-tomoe are apparently 
quite different from this symbol, and Hirth rightly identifies 
them with the ancient Chinese spiral, representing thunder. 
Moreover, I found the same explanation of the tomoe in the 
Japanese work Shiojiri ^, which gives a picture of two kinds of 
spirals, ancient symbols of thunder and clouds. Finally, on Japanese 
prints the dragon ist often accompanied by a huge spiral, repre- 
senting the thunderstorm caused by him. 

Is the ball, so often seen in connection with the dragon, and 
often represented as a spiral emitting flames or as a ball upon 
which something like a spiral is delineated, identical with the 
spiral, denoting thunder? Hibth and De Groot suppose so. The 
latter, considering the dragon's nature of a thundergod, arrived at 
the conclusion that the dragon must helch out the ball instead of 
swallowing it, for why should he, who causes thunder, persecute 
it and try to swallow it? Hirth* speaks about a dragon Which 
with his claw is putting the thunder into rotation. This is, 



\ Cf. Florenz, Jap. Mythologie, p. 78, note 7. 

2 ^ K , written by Amano Nobukage, ^ |^ >j^ -^, who lived 1660—1733; 

new edition (1907), Ch. XXXI, p. 497. 

3 L.l. p. 233, 

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106 

however, not the ordinary way of representing the dragon with 
the ball or spiral. Tioo dragons flying with open mouths towards 
a ball or spiral between them — this is the most frequent and 
apparently the most ancient representation. The artists, especially 
those of later times, often varied this subject, so that we some- 
times see more than two dragons rushing upon one ball, or one 
dragon trying to swallow it or having caught it with his claw; 
sometimes there are even two balls and only one dragon. 
But nowhere they make the impression of belching out the ball ; 
their whole attitude, on the contrary, indicates their eagerness 
in trying to catch and swallow it. Moreover, how can two dragons 
belch out one ball? And the dragon of the festival constantly 
follows the ball with his mouth, apparently in order to swallow 
it. Tet I was inclined to accept De G root's theory, although it 
was very diflBcult to make it agree with the eager attitude of 
the dragons, when Mr Kramp had the kindness of pointing out 
to me his own opinion on this subject. After having drawn my 
attention to Hirth's paper, mentioned above, he showed me a 
little Chinese picture, represented in Blacker's Chats on Oriental 
China (London, 1908), on p. 54, where we see two dragons, 
rushing upon a fiery, spiral-shaped ball, under which the following 
characters are to be read : p^ ^ ^ ^ , "A couple of dragons ' 
facing the moon". The moon! These were the first written 
characters I ever saw with regard to this interesting subject, 
for the sea of texts concerning the dragon, ancient and modern, 
did not give a single word. Leaving aside the character ^ , 
which is apparently not well chosen to denote the aggressive 
attitude of the dragons, we have only to consider the'character ^ . 
Would it be absurd to represent dragons trying to swallow 
the moon? Not in the least, for the dragons are, as we have 
seen above, the clouds, and the ancient Chinese may easily have 
fancied that these dragons, quickly approaching and covering the 
moon, actually devoured it. When they did so, the fertilizing 
rain soon trickled down upon the thirsty earth, a great blessing 
to mankind. For this reason they might be represented so often 
trying to swallow the moon, namely as a symbol of fertilizing 
rains. Owing to the close connection between the moon and the 
water, the moon, having been swallowed by the dragon, might 
have been believed to strengthen the rain-giving power of the 
latter. The dragon of the festival, persecuting the moon, might 
be carried along the streets in order to cause rain by sympa- 
thetic masic. 



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The Chinese themselves, however, mostly call the ball a "pre- 
cious pearV. We find it explained in this way in Boerschmann's 
highly interesting work on F^u fo shan \ where a gilt ball of 
glass is said to hang from the centre of the roof of the Great 
Hall of the Buddhist temple Fa(h)-yu-sze (^pf #, "Temple 
of the Rain of the Law"), while eight dragons, carved around 
the surrounding "hanging pillars", eagerly stretch their claws 
towards the "pearl of perfection" ^ This term sounds Buddhistic 
and is appropriate to the Buddhist surroundings, as well as the 
number eight of the dragons, which is, indeed, fixed by the 
form of the roof, but is also found on the staircase of the 'Yu(h)- 
fo(h)-tien (p. 57). Dragons trying to seize a fiery "pearl" which 
is hanging in a gate (the Dragon-gate, cf. above, p. 86) are 
represented twice in the same temple (pp. 46, 87). Leaving 
aside Boerschmann's fantastic ideas about the " dragons playing 
with the pearl" (p. 43), we may be sure that the Chinese 
Buddhists, identifying the dragon with the Naga, also identified 
the ball with their cintamani or precious pearl which grants all 
desires. The question rises: "Was the ball originally also a pearl, 
not of Buddhism but of Taoism?" 

Mr Kramp pointed out to me, that the character f^ , combined 
from jewel and moon, though not found in the dictionaries of 
Wells Williams, Giles or Couvreur, is given in the K^ang-hi 
dictionary. I found it also in the Japanese lexicon entitled 
Kanwa daijiten (p. 852), explained as a " divine pearl " ( jjj^ ^ ), and 
with the Japanese-Chinese pronunciations getsu, gwachi. This is 
evidently based upon the K'ang-hi dictionary, where we read s. v.: y 
"M M ^. ^ v^ . f$ ^ "tfii • "T^® same pronunciation and meaning 
are given in the lexicon entitled Tsze-wei. This sacredC^eA_£earl) 
probably dues its holiness to its connection with the moon, for 
the second part of the character J^ may not only form the 
phonetic element, but it may indicate that this is "the pearl of 
the moon", as there is also a "pearl of the bright moon" 
C^ >^ ^ ^> Couvreur's Dictionary s. v. ^ ). It is possible that 
in the little sentence mentioned above : p^ ^ ^ ^ » the last 
character has taken the place of the fuller form J^, in which 
case the two dragons would be said to "face the moon-pearl". 



1 Ernst Boersohmann, Die Baukunst und religiose Kultur der Chinesen. Band I: 
P'm f^o shan. 

2 Dragons and pearl: pp. 18, 35, 57, 59, 77, 124 One dragon with the pearl in 
bis claw, other dragons flying from both sides to the spot, p. 35. 

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108 

Difficult points in the moon theory are the red colour of the 
ball and its 5/)2ra^shaped form. If it is a,' pearl, however, repre- 
senting the moon or at least closely connected with it, the red 
colour may mean the lustre of this brilliant, fiery gem, which 
in the temple on P^u f^o shan, mentioned above, is represented 
by a glass ball covered with gold. The red ball, carried by the 
Dragon girl in the Hall of the Law Of the same temple (Boersch- 
MANN, 1. 1., p. 122, nr 7) is evidently also a pearl. The spiral is 
much used in delineating the sacred pearls of Buddhism, so ihat 
it might have served also to design those of Taoism ; although 
I must acknowledge that the spiral of the Buddhist pearl goes 
upwards, while' the spiral of the dragon is flat. 

We know the close connection of dragons and pearls in both 
religions. This connection is quite logical, for the masters of the 
sea are, of course, the possessors and guardians of its treasures. 
When the clouds approached and covered the moon, the ancient 
Chinese may have thought that the dragons had seized and 
swallowed this pearl, more brilliant than all their pearls of the sea. 

These are, however, all mere suppositions. The only facts we 
know are: the eager attitude of the dragons, ready to grasp and 
swallow the ball ; the ideas of the Chinese themselves as to the 
ball being the moon or a pearl ; the existence of a kind of sacred 
"moon-pearl"; the red colour of the ball, its emitting" flames and 
its spiral-like form. As the three last facts are in favour of the 
thunder theory, I should be inclined to prefer the latter. Yet I am 
convinced that the dragons do not belch out the thunder. If their 
trying to grasp or swallow the thunder could be explained, I 
should immediately accept the theory concerning the thunder- 
&piral, especially on account of the flames it emits. But I do not 
see the reason why the god of thunder should persecute thunder 
itself. Therefore, after having given the above facts that the 
reader may take them into consideration, I feel obliged to say: 
"non liquet". 



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CHAPTER V. 

CAUSING UAIN, THUNDER AND STORM. 

§ 1- TVift fynr i.a of thun dgr. clouds an d rain. 

The Classics have taught us that the dragon is thunder, and 
at the same time that he is a water animal, akin to the snake, 
sleeping in pools during winter and arising in spring. When 
autumn comes with its dry weather, the dragon descends and 
dives into the water to remain there till spring arrives again. 
When in the first .month of the year now and then thunderclaps 
were heard and a little rain came down, the ancients were 
convinced that this was the work of the dragons, who in the 
form of dark clouds appeared in the sky. If our interpretation 
of the words of the Tih king is right, the "advantage" given 
by them when they were seen soaring over the rice fields, and 
the "blessing power then spread by them everywhere", was 
nothing but the fertilizing rain they poured down upon the earth. 
In later texts, at any rate, we have seen them clearly qualified 
as the gods of clouds and rain, whnse fareath_ tiirned into clo uds ^ 
and whose pow e r manifested itself in hea vy rains. Koh Hung ^, 
e.g., in the Pao P%h fe^^ states the following: "If on a ym day 
there is in the mountains a being who calls himself a "forester", 

it is a tiger, and if on a dfen day a being calls himself 

"Rain-master'', it is a dragon If one only knows these their 

animal names, they cannot do him any harm". The tiger, indeed, 
is the god of the mountains and woods, as the _ dragon is the 
divinity of water and rain. 



1 Cf. the 'Rh ya yih, quoting Wang Fu, above, Book I, Ch. Ill, § 2, p. 66; 
Han Yij, Sa ^! (A- D. 768—824), quoted T. S., Sect. -^ ^, Ch. 127, p. 86, says 

the same: M^M^W' 

2 Ch. IV, Sect. ^ ^ , quoted by De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. V, p. 601 : |Jj 

f^n B^^mmM^^^' ^ Bmmm^m 

m „ ^ ^ ^ #1 ^ MiJ T> il :^ W m c 

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110 

According to the Kiooh yii ', Confucius stated that " apparitions 
('1^, "strange beings") in the water are called lung (f|) and 
wang-siang {^ ^), while apparitions between trees and rocks 
are called khwei{^) and wang-liang (^^ i^)"- As tp these Mw^ez, 
we learn from De Groot ^, who quotes the Shwoh wen ' and the 
Shan hai king *, that this is a class of one-legged beasts or dragons 
with human countenances, which were fancied in ancient China 
to be amphibious and to cause loind and rain. The Shan hai king, 
as quoted by De G-koot, describes them as follows: "In the 
Eastern seas is a Land of rolling Waves, extending seaward over 
seven thousand miles. There certain animals live, shaped as 
cows with blue bodies, but hornless and one-legged. Whenever 
they leave or enter the waters, winds are sure to blow, and 
rains to fall. Their glare is that of the sun and the moon, their 
voice is that of thunder. They are named khwei. Hwang the 
emperor cax^ght some and made drums of their hides, which, 
when beaten wich bones of the 'thunderbea^t', resounded over 
a distance of five hundred miles, and thus struck, the world 
under heaven with awe". "In this description", says De Groot, 
"we immediately recognize the lung or Dragon, China's god of 
Water and Rain". 

Further, De Groot ^ quotes the Tsz^ puh yii '^, which states the 
following : " There are three species of drought-causing /jaA (^ '^). 
Some are like quadrupeds; an other kind are transformations of 
kiang shi (fg/', corpse-spectres), and both these species are 
able to produce drought and stop wind and rain. But the princi- 
pal, superior drought-demons, called' ^o A {or koh-tsze, :^^, ^ ■^), 
cause still more damage; they resemble men but are taller, and 
have one eye on the top of the head. They devour dragons, and 
all the Rain-masters ( H ^fjj ) fear them much, for when they 

1 ^ ^ ' ascribed to Tso K'iu-ming, ^ ^[J M , the alleged author of the Tso 
chw'en. Ch. V, :^ ^ , quoted by De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. V, p. 495 : J^ p^ 

2 L. I., pp. 496 sq. 

3 g^ A^ , a dictionary composed in the first century of our era by Hij Shen, 

i^'l^;Ch. V,2. 

4 Ch. XIV, ■J^%^^^,V 6b. 

5 Rel. Syst., Vol. V, p. 761. 

6 -^ ^ ^, written in the second half of the 18th century by Sui Yuen, 

15^ 1*1 • Riinnlomont Ch TTT 



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Ill 

(the Icoh) see clouds arise, they raise their heads and disperse 
them (the clouds) in all directions by blowing, the sun thus 
increasing in intensity. No man can conquer them. Some say, 
that when it is Heaven's will that there shall be a drought, the 
vapours of the becks (|1( jll :^ ^) condense and become these 
demons. When the latter suddenly vanish, it will rain". 

The term "Rain- master" {yii-shi, pjf gf|j) for dragon is also 
mentioned by Wu Shoh '. The Japanese applied it especially to 
one of their dragon-shaped river gods, most famous for his rain 
bestowing power ^ 

A scen ding drag -o no cauoo rai a ^at if they descend from the 
sky this ia nnt_alw ays the case. According to the "Various divi- 
nations of farmers ^, yyhen black dragons" "descend this means 
drought or at least not much ra in, hence a proverb says: „Many 
dragons much drought". The descending of white dragons, however, 



yyas explained to be a sure sign of comin g rain, 

§ 2, Violent rains accompanied by heavy winds 
and thunderstorms- 

In a passage from the History of the Sung dynasty, mentioned 
above* with regard to the dragon omens, the appearance of a 
black drago n above the capital yyas said to be a n nmp.n mf big — 
floods winch in the next year destroyed the fields and houses in 
^4 pr efectures . ~1^ e aiso read -there that a dragon,' •wfartdrTS'TEe" 
fourth month of the sixth year of the. K'ai Pao era (973) rose_ 
from a well, caused violent rains to de stroy a large number of 
hrrngps a.nfl trpps and sweep— aBay_ ihe in"MWtgmt 57"And"ln~the 
sTvt. h mQiijJ3_of the next year, w hen the tower _of a castle _gate 
waiS__struck b y lightning, th is accident is described as follows: 
"In Ti cheu there fell a tire from the air upon theTower of 
the Northern gate of the castle. There was a creature which 
embraced the eastern pillar. It had the shape of a dragon and 



1 ^. j^ (A. D. 947 — 1002), a^amous scholar, .placed upon the commissions which 
produced the T^ai-pHng yii Ian and the Wen yuen ying hwa, and author of the Shi 
Ui fu, ^ 3|g ^ (Giles, Biogr. Bid., nr 2345); Limg-fu, f | ^ , T. S., same 

section, Ch. 127, p. 11a. 

2 See below, Book II, Ch. III. 

3 FB ^ ^ t^ ' ^''^'^ ^"* **"'* ''^^'^' ^- ^•' ^^""^ section, Ch. 130, p. 66. 

4 Ch. i ff ^ , see above, p. 54. 

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112 

a golden colour; its legs were about three ch'ih long, and its 
breath smell ed very bad. In the morning, when people looked 
for it, there were on the upper part of the wall thirty six smoky 
stains, the traces of- claws". 

Such traces were also seen, much to the astonishment of the 
people, after a heavy storm accompanied by thunder, which lifted 
u.p the tablet of a gate and threw it down at some distance, 
destroying one of the characters of the inscription. ' 

Another time a white dragon brought heavy wind and rain. 
The sky was black and it was pitchdark. More than five hundred 
houses were destroyed; big trees were uprooted and lifted up 
into the air, from where they fell down quite broken.^ 

According to the Yiu-yang tsah tsu ', wind, rain and thunder 
were caused by a dragon, which in the shape of a white reptile 
had wound itself around one of the leg^ of a horse, when this 
was bathed in a river. The creature had coiled itself so tightly, 
that the horse lost much blood when the monster was loosened. 
The general who possessed the horse took the reptile and pre- 
served it iii a box. One day some guests advised him to examine 
its nature by means of water. It was laid in a hollow, dug in 
the earth, and some water was sprinkled over it. After a little 
while the animal began to wriggle and seemed to grow. In the 
hollow a well bubbled up, and all of a sudden a black vapour 
like incense smoke rose and went straight out of the eaves. The 
crowd beyond was afraid and ran home, convinced that it was 
a dragon. But before they were some miles away suddenly the 
wind arose, the rain come down, and several heavy thunderclaps 
were heard. 

Especially the whirlwinds, called in Japan "^ taisu-makV or 
"dragon-rolls"*, which form waterspouts and carry heavy objects 
into the air, were looked upon as dragons winding their way to 
the sky amidst thunder and rain. Holes in the ground, due to 
volcanic eruptions and emitting smoke, were thought to be the 



1 Lao hioh ngaA pih ki, -^k- ^^ t^ ^p gfl , according to De Groot (Rel. Syst., 
Vol. IV, p. 220, note 1) "a collection of notices on miscellaneous subjects, in ten chap- 
ters, by LuH Yiu, 1^ ^-^ also named Wu-kwan, ^ ||i , a high officer who lived 
from 1125—1209"- T. S., same section, Ch. 130, p. 7b. 

2 Choh keng hth, ^^^, by T^ao Tsung-i, |^ ^ ^ . alias Kiu-oh'ing, 
jh ^1 published in 1366 (of. De Groot, 1.1., Vol. IV, p. 346). T.S., same section, 
Ch. 130, p. 10a. 

3 Yiu-yang tsah tsu, Ch. XV ( ^^ ^ =^ "^ ), p. 2a. 



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113 

spots from where dragons which had been lying in the earth 
had dashed forth and flown to heaven. ' 

Two boys, born from the marriage of a man with a dragon 
who first assumed the shape of a snake and then of a woman, 
suddenly caused a heavy thunderstorm to arise, changed into 
dragons and flew away. ^ 

When in the year 1156 a thunderstorm raged and darkness 
prevailed, suddenly a cry was heard over a,n extent of several 
miles, which repeated itself for more than a month. The people 
ascribed it to the dragon of a neighbouring pond. ' 

Another time a little snake, which crept out of a small crack 
of the unplastered wall of a house, became bigger and bigger, 
changed into a dragon and flew away amidst storm and rain.* 

How a kiao brought heavy rains and inundations was seen 
above ^ as well as the fact that tempests often were ascribed 
to dragons fighting in the air. "^ 

§ 3. Bain magic and prayers. 

The dragon being the god of ra in, from rem ote ag es his images 
were used in tim es of drought in order tocanj^eJiiiL_ta_ascend_. 
by sympathetic magic. TJie *b'/ian hai kmg'^sajs: "In the north- 
eastern corneFTif the GieaL Desert (Ta hwang) there is a moun- 
tain called Hiung-li earth mound; a ying lung (according to the 
commentator a winged dragon ^) inhabited its southern extremity. 



1 Cf. the / kien chi, ^ ^ ^, written in the twelfth century by Hung Mai, 
'Hfc ^£; T. S., same section, Ch. 130, p. 96; Lung ch^ing luh, -^ ^ ^^ (Wilib, 
p. 197: "A record of incidents during the earlier part of the T'^ang, professing to be 
written by Liu Tsung-yuen, MH ^! y^ , of that dynasty. It is generally understood, 
however, that it is a spurious production of Wang Chih, ^ «^, of the 12th cen- 
tury"); Ch. II. 

2 Hoh lin yuh lu, j^ ^yj; ^ ^, written by Lo Ta-king,\ ^ -^ J^', alias 
KiNG-LUN, •©■ 4m, who probably lived in the 12th century (cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst., 
Vol. IV, p. 251, note 1). T. S., same section, Ch. 131, p. 16a. 

3 Kiang-si f-ung-chi, quoted T. S., same section, Ch. 130, p. 66. 

4 Fei siieh luh, It ^ ^, quoted T. S , same section, Ch. 130, p. 12a. 

5 Book I, Ch. Ill, § 7, p. 81. 

6 Book I, Ch. II, § 2, A, p. 48. 

' Sect. :^ ^ ^ ^, Cfi. XIV, 'v-^b: i^%M^\:>^f^^\h. 

8 Cf. above, this Book, Ch. IV, § 6, p. 72 sqq. 
Verh. Kon. Atad. v. Wetensch. (Afd. Letterk.) N. R. Dl. XIII, N" 2. 8 

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114 

After having killed Ch4 Yiu (the first rebel) and Kw'a Fu(?), he 
(the dragon) could not ascend again, and for this reason often 
drought prevails on earth. In time of drought an image of a 
ying lung is made and then a heavy rain is obtained". The com- , 
mentator Kwoh P'oh ' (A. D. 276—324) adds : "The earthen dragons 
of the present day find their origin in this" ^. 

Wang Ch'ung ^ of the Later Han dynasty, who in his work 
entitled Lun Heng^ severely criticises the superstitions of his 
time, refers to Tdng Chung-shtj's " following statement: "At the 
rRJn F^RiCrififtfts in spri ng and autumn earthen dragonsa re set up 
/ in order tn pall down \hp. rain. T lie_id eaorth is_JsJ :ha,Fhy this 
me ans clouds and dra gons are caused to come. The Tih king 

says: 'Clouds fnllnwtTie^ dragon, wind follows the tiger'. They 

are^injd t c d to coaic by m -ea ns of their likenessea^J Lhc rcforo wh ^n 

pa.rtltftyh-t^TaTgft Ti f i n . vn nnt -ji p-Yin anr^ Y p ng fnllnw thpir liTrflnPSCiPS" 

and clouds a^ rain j^nye_Qn--lh£ir._ilstn^^^^ 

Also the Lu shi clfun-tsHu •> states that "by means of dragons 
/ rain is made", and Lio Ngan ' says: "Earthen dragons cause the 
rain to come". According to a commentary on this passage "the 
Emperor T^ang (the founder of the Shang dynasty, B. C. 1766) 
in time of drought made an earthen dragon in order to symbolize 
the dragon being followed by the clouds" ^ "The_ dnkp, nf fihg h 
i n the lan d_of Chu", says Wang Cheung °, "liked dragons a nd had 
tbjem-^aAated— OIL all his walls and trays, Seertainly "consTdering 



' MM- 

3 ^^ (A. D. 27-97). ^ WS 1^ ■ 

5 ^J Yfb ^5 , who lived in the second century B, C, author of the Ch'-un-tuHu 
fan lu, ^ ^ ^ 1^ . T. S., same section, Ch. 127, h| ^ ® "^ — ' , P- 3& : 

6 § ^ ^ ^ (last half of third century B. C), Ch. XX, under the heading 

7 Hwai nan Uze, Ch. IV, Jjfc ^ f l| : ffc f||!t j^ „ 

9 mmstMm.mmm^WMM.^M^mmm'^^ 



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115 

their pictures to be like real dragons. Thus there was always 
rain (i. e. there~D ev er was a drought) Jn_the c ountry ot tH iSukfi". 

In the Supplement of the Boohs of the Han Dynasty ' a 
description is given of the ceremonies performed when praying 
for rain; an extensive commentary explains the words.: "The 
underlings raise the earthen di-agons". In the first place the 
passage from the Shan hai king, mentioned above, is quoted, 
and KwoH P'oh's commentary with regard to the earthen dragons 
of his days. Then follows a long description of rain ceremonies 
found in the (Mun-tsHu fan lu ^ of Tdng CHUNG-SHtj, the author 
of the second century B. C. quoted above. 

In this passage the rain ceremonies of spring, summer, the 
last month of summer, autumn and winter/ are described. The 
details all agree with the Taoistic system, pointed out by 
De Groot in his Religious System ', and wu-\^i priests were the 
performers of the rites. In th e ceremonies of spring, summe r, 
the last month of su mmer, a.ntumn RiTiilwint'^r a/r^r'lingly the 

eastern, southern (tw ice), western a nd nortEen 

towns and vill ages are mentioned, and the colour§_xt £— the-&ilken 
banners ofthe altars and thje^jrobes of the ofiiciating^ priests^ 
were azure,~red, . yjelloW; wbitf* and.^ aQgrT iirtEef, the numbers 
eight, seven, five, nine and six were usedrwit"h~regard to the 
square altars erected at the five different ceremonies and to the 
tanks in which shrimps or frogs were placed, as well as to the 
days during which the different preparations were made *. 

AR-to- tho cariher ir-dxa gons. me ntioned in this d escript.inn. the 
days o n which thev were made, t heir sizes, pnlnTirs^ ninnhpTp, 
th e directions in which the y wer e placed _aad-the sides "" whir^- 
Ihey stood, as we ll as the colours of the robes of tho'^R whn- 
"brandished _ and-jereQted "them, and Lfag~numbers and agesof_the., 
fnrirmr , all a,g reed with~ tEe~same~T"a oigtifi_ aystp.m 

"On kia h an^yih. rIayH ° (in o'pvi'ryg) nno \\\a hhin rlrq.gnn^ l ^^^g. 



1 ^ M #' ^''- ^' p- ''^ ^ Jft ± ti 

3 Vol. I, p. 317; Vol. IV, p. 26. 

4 Prayers took place on a day of the Water (t(J^ P ); it was forbidden to cut 
down famous trees or trees of the wood ; the sacrifices consisted of cocks and pigs, 
three years old; further, the people roasted pig tails, buried human bones, opened 
mountain pools, burned firewood, etc., "iw order to open Yin {the water) and close 
Yang (the sun)" ( @i 1^ ^ |^ , p. 46); for the same reason men were forbidden 
to visit markets. 



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116 

eight chang, is^ made-a-rtdrstan3?~in the centre; seven small one 
eachTTfour chang long, are made (and placed) on the east sid 

„ They are a,ll direct ed t owards th e KnM ^ with a, di'at an'pp of eig 
ch'ih between each other. Eight little boys, who all have observe 
religious abstinence for three days and are clad in blue robe 

^raMish the dragoM.__XIia---2Sm- 6<j A fa ' (Oujjml Trt^dent > 
harvesting), who also for three days has observed religioi 
abstinence and is clad in blue robes, erects them". 

In the same yf^j m^svmmsjLJmr-f^^ big n 

dragon was made, seven chang long, and placed in the centr 
while six small dragons, each three chang five ch'ih long, stoc 
on the south' side; they were all directed to the south, with 
dista,np,ft nf sPM^xu-fih^ipt-hr&y^^P^r'^^^ nflipr Seven futtgxmjon me'i 
who for three days had observed religioas-atostiSence and wei 
clad in red robes, bra^diahed-tfieTfragons, and the Sze Fung si 
fu 2 (Supgrintend^nt of works), who likewise for three daj 

"ilM observed religious abstinence and was clad in red robe 
erected them. ^_ 

___WJien- 



rountams and iiills were prayed to in the la 
month of summer, on wu and sze days, one big yellow dragoi 
five chang long, was placed in the centre, and four^ small onei 
long two chang five ch'ih, stood on the south side; they wei 
all directed to the South, with a distance of five ch'ih betwee 
each other. Five elders, after three 'days religious abstinence, an 
clad in yellow robes, brandished the dragons, and five men (c 
a senior *) in yellow robes erected them. 

In autumn, on heng and sin days, one big white dragon wa 
made, nine chang long, and placed in the centre; eight sma 
ones, long four chang five chih, were placed on the west sid( 
They were all directed to the West, and the distance betwee 
them was nine ch'ih ; nine old unmarried men (or widowers ' 
in white robes brandished them, and the Sze ma " (Inspector c 
horses), also clad in white garments, erected them. 



3 The main text wrongly says five, but the quotation gives the right number of fou 

4 The main text gives "five men", the quotation "a senior", ^^ ^ . 



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Finally, in winter, when prayers were made to famous moun- 
tains, one big black dragon, made on jen aiid kwei days, and six 
chang long, was placed in the centre, and five small ones, each 
three chang long, stood on the north side; they were all directed 
to the North and the distance between them was six ch'ih. Six 
old men, all clad in black robes, brandished the dragon-, and a 
wei'- (military officer), also wearing black garments, erected them ^ 

In the ceremonies, used for stopping rain, no dragons are 
mentioned. We learn from the Sung-ch^ao shi shih ' that in the 
Sung dynasty the same magic was performed; the dragons were 
sprinkled with water, and, after the ceremony, thrown into the 
watePr- 

De Groot * treats of this custom in order to show that, thiskindof 
^rain_magic being very common in ancient China, the dragon 
processions~on tne ib tn day of t he figt^gnnth^a ndT^e dragoia 
■JLOats ^on the fifth day o f the fifth month may be easi ly expTaingd^ 
in__thfi-aam£_way^He alsoT^-efers to a passage frdnTthe Yiu-yatig 
tsah tsu ^, whereaT tJuddhist priest, who in the K'ai-yuen era 
(A. D. 713 — 742) was ordered by the Emperor to pray for rain, 
said that he wanted a utensil engraved with the figure of a 
dragon. Nothing of the kind could be found, till after two or 
three days an old mirror, the handle of which had the form of 
a dragon, was discovered in the Emperor's store-house. The priest 
took it into the chapel and prayed ; and behold, that very evening 
the rain poured down! 

The same sympathetic magic is mentioned in the Pih ki man 
ehi'^, where a mirror, adorned on the backside with a "coiled 
dragon", p^an lung, ^^|, is said to .have been worshipped 
(rather used in a magical wa,y) in order to cause rain '. 



2 The Shen-nung kHu-yu shu, Jjjft -S ^^ ^ ^£ , quoted in the Koh chi king^ 
yuen, 7^ Sj/ gg^ IS , an extensive cyclopaedia compiled by Ch'^en Yuen-lung, jffl 

TC HJi' ^^^ published in ITSS, Ch. IV, Sect, ijrf? SS , p. 5a, gives the same with 
less details. 

3 ±ji AH ^S 'S , quoted in the same chapter of the CK-un-tsHu fan lu, nr 75 
pp. 6 seq. ; cf. the same chapter, section and page of the Koh chi king yuen. 

4 Fetes annuelles a Emoui, Vol. I, pp. 375 sqq. 5 Oh. III. 

^ ^ ^ iM ^ ' ■^'''*^'^^" '" ^^^ ^""S dynasty by Wang Choh, ^ jje(j . T. S., 
same section, Ch. 131, p. 116. 

7 With regard to painted dragons being as powerful as real ones we may refer to 
the Yun kih tnHh tsHen, ^ ^ >|^ ^, a Taoistic work of the end of the 10th 



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The aim of this magic was to force the dragons to follow their 
images and to ascend from their pools. It is no wonder that 
sometimes drastic measures were taken to cause them to obey 
this human command, when it failed to have success. Thus in 
the tenth century of our era the head of two districts did not 
hesitate to have an eartheh dragon flogged in order to force the 
unwilling dragons to ascjiend; and he was right, for that very 
day a sufficient rain came down '. 

As we have seen above, also Buddhist priests used images of 
dragons in making rain. It is again a story from the K^ai-yuen 
era, to be found in the same work^, which teaches us how they 
sometimes employed them to stop rain. An Indian bonze was 
requested by the Emperor to put a stop to the incessant rains, 
caused by one of his Chinese colleagues, who by order of the 
sovereign had prayed for rain and had fulfilled, his task with so 
much success that several people were drowned in consequence 
of- the inundations. The Indian priest made five or six dragons 
of clay, placed them in water and scolded them in his mother-tongue. 
Then he took them out of the water and laid them somewhere 
else, laughing loudly. After a little while the rain stopped. The 
meaning of this, magic was apparently different fi-om the ancient 
Chinese ideas. By placing the dragons in their element, the water, 
he gave them life, just like a Buddhist priest of the fourth 
century did with a dead dragon which he had dug up. The latter, 
however, after having thus made the dragon revive, by means 
of incantations caused him to ascend to the sky and put a stop 
to a heavy drought. ' His Indian colleague of the K^ai-yuen era, 
on the contrary, with a scornful laugh removed the dragons after 
having given them life, in order to cause their counterparts to 
go away also. We may compare this with several instances of a 



or the beginning of the 11th century (cf. De Groot, Rel. Sysl., Vol. IV, p. 74), where 
we read about a dragon painted on a wall, with a well befoi'c it, which was prayed 
to for rain by people from far and near, and used to hear their prayings. Once in a 
time of drought a drunken fellow had the audacity to rail at the dragon, lie cried 
over the balustrade of the well: "If Heaven sends a drought like this, what is the use 
of you?", and with a big stone hit one of the painted dragon's feet. The mark was 
still visible in the author's time. When the man came home he suddenly got an un- 
bearable pain in his foot. Although he sent a messenger to burn incense before the 
dragon and to apologize, it was all in vain, and he died within a few days: T. S., same 
Section, Ch. 129, p. lib. 

1 History of the five Dynasties, ^ 4^ d^ (907 — 960); Koh clii king yuan, 1.1.. 

2 Yiu-yang tsah tsu, Ch. III. 

3 T'^ai-pHtig yu Ian, Ch. 930. The same priest by his prayers caused two white 
drasons to descend and to pour down rain over a district of a thousand miles. 



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similar magic, mentioned by Frazer in his Golden Bough '. We 
read there of plagues, caused by vermin, scorpions or serpents, 
which were stopped by burying or removing the images of these 
noxious creatures. 

A curious prescription for making rain is given in the Tiu- 
yang tsah tsu ^, where we read the following : * Take four water- 
lizards, and after having filled two earthen jugs with water, put 
two of the lizards in each. Then cover the jugs with wooden 
covers, place them on two different quiet spots, prepare seats 
before and behind them, and burn incense. If you then have 
more than ten boys, ten years old or younger, day and night 
incessantl}'- strike the jars with small green bamboo sticks, it 
certainly will -rain". This advice was followed, and after one day 
and two nights the rain came down. "Tradition says", adds the 
author, " that dragons and water-lizards belong to the same species". 
The idea of annoying the dragons by noise and thus stirring 
them up is also to be found in Japan, where, as we shall see 
below ', the Court- oflBcials made music and danced on a dragon 
boat on the pond of the Sacred-Spring-Park, in order to force 
the dragon to arise and give rain. 

Another way of making rain is to arouse the dragons' anger 
by throwing poisonous plants *, or ashes ^, or pieces of wood, or 
stones ", or tiger bones ' — the tiger being the dragon's deadly 
enemy — into their pools, or by pulling a tiger's head by nieans 



1 Vol. II (sec. eil.), pp. 426 sq. Cf. Vol. I, pp. 9 sqq. ; making rain by magical means, 
I, pp. 82—114. 

2 Ch. XI (ninth century). 

3 Ch. V. It reminds us of the enormous bronze drums, decorated with frogs, the 
demons of rain, which probably were beaten by the Man tribes in the South of China, 
when di'oughl prevailed. Cf De Groot, Die -antiken Bronzepauken im Ostindischen 
Archipel und auf dent Fesllande von Sudostasien, Mitth. des Seminars f. Orient. Spr. 
zu Berlin, Jahrg. IV, Abth. I, pp. 76-113. 

4 T'^ai-p'^ing yu Ian, Ch. 930. 

5 Weng yuen hien chi, -^ yM I^ ^^ , quoted in the Japanese work Shobutsu 

ruizan, fff #1 ^ ^ ' Section S|,. 

6 Mao fing k^oh hwa, ^ ^ ^ f^i quoted T. S,, same section, Ch. 130, p. 8a: 
"If one throws a piece of wood or a stone into the dragon pond, this at once causes 
black vapours to arise, followed by thunder and lightning, rain and hail". On clear days 
the surface of the water of this pond was five-coloured, a sign of a dragon's dwelling. 
In time of drought offerings were made and prayers said to him. 

7 Chen chu chvfen, 3^ ^ j|^ . written by Ch'en Kiai-kdng, ^ ^ ^ . i" the 
Ming dynasty; Ch. I. 



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of a rope through a river inhabited by a dragon '. As we shall 
see below ^, the Japanese, following the same methods, threw 
horse dnng, old sandals and other dirty things into dragon-ponds, 
or stirred the dragons np by means of iron utensils or metal- 
shaving, for, as we saw above ^ these animals were believed to 
detest and fear iron. 

The Wu tsah tsu * desc ribes the remarkable way in whjc h the 
people of Ling-nan c aused ra in^ ^As_dragon s are very le wd and 
fond of wo men, a naked woman was p lace4_flJi--a-je1p^'^i^it^(T~ poin t 
in order t Q_aii t.ract a dragon. As so mi_as_t herB game one _aDiLflgw 
jj:Dxind-Jiac»_he_ was__jnag;ica lly prevented from approaching her, 
SO— th at his anger w as: aroused -^ad— hp.avy ra ins .p,amQjlow]i. The 
sam e work '^ says that in the beginning of summer the dragon g 
are^^i vidgdj^ so_tliat _eacli of them has his speci al territory, _sdiich 
he doe s^ not exceed. This is the reason why in summer time i t 
"rains very much at_one_place and not at all a jittle further on ^ 
~~Apafr from these mpa,ns!--a.£-s.t irring i^p jfcbft- cl i/ i.uri ri ^ ^/ y ft-j3f^,p.rii 
read ^about pray evs recite d to the m^^at they might give fertilizing 
rains. This was~Hone m shrines or at ponds inhabited by dragons, 
or at the entrances of their dens. The Mao fing ¥oh hwa, e. g., 
mentions a Dragon-woman's shrine, dedicated to a female dragon 
which in A. D. 740 appeared in a dream and promised to give 



1 Shang shu ku shift, 'w ^S ^t ^ , written in the ninth century by Li Ch"^oh, 
^p «S. : "In the South, when there is a long drought, a tiger's head bone is tied 
at a long rope and thrown into the water on a spot where a dragon is living. Then 
seveial men pnll in an irregular way. Suddenly clouds arise from the middle of the 
pond, and thereupon also rain comes down. The dragon being the tiger's enemy, even 
the latter's dried bones still stir up the dragon like this". '^3 pb -^ ^^ 0n IM 

itmm^n^^ m^^m^. m^m^o m^^^mn 

fli^ S& ^B itfc o ^^- ^^'^"■^ ' "''* ^^^^^ cent.), quoted T. S., same section, Oh. 130, 
p. 7a: In the Shun-hi era (ld74— 1190) a tiger bone, attached to a long rope, was let 
down in a "White dragon's pond", near a "White dragon's den" before a Buddhist 
temple. Soon it rained, and as they were slow in pulling the bone out of the pond, a 
severe thunderstoim menaced the government office, but stopped when the bone was 
removed. 

The date shows that we have here a- passage from the Hien ch'wang kwah i chi, 

pl^ W -!§ ^ /^ ' 'W""en by Lu Ying-ldng, ^ ]§ f | , who lived about the 
middle of the thirteenth century (cf. De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. IV, p. 347, note 1), 
and not with the Kwah i chi, written in the second half of the eleventh century by 
Chang Shi-ching, ^^ ^jg JE , alias. Pch-i, ^^ (De Groot, 1.1., IV, p. 210, note 1). 

2 Book II, Ch. III. 3 Book I, Ch. Ill, § 3, pp. 67 sqq. 
^ ^MM (Ming-dynasty), Ch. IX. 5 Ch. I.X, 



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rain whenever prayers were made to her in time of drought '. 
And in the Sheu shen ki we read of a sick dragon, which in 
consequence of prayers recited before his den, gave a badly 
smelling rain, which would have spoiled the crops, if a diviner 
had not discovered it in time and cured the dragon at the latter's 
request. Thereupon a fertilizing rain fell and a very clear spring 
dashed forth from a rock ^. 

§ 4. Buddhist rain ceremonies. 

In the Introduction (§ 4, pp. 25 sqq.) we have dealt with the 
Buddhist rain ceremonies prescribed in the Mahamegha sutra and 
those described by De Groot in his Code du Mahaydna. As we 
will see below (Book II, Ch. Ill), also in Japan the Buddhist 
priests gradually conquered this field, formerly the domain of 
the Shintoists. They used the same stitras as the Chinese Buddhists. 
The latter had a good time in the T'ang dynasty, when sometimes, 
as we read in the Tuh i chi'^, eleven hundred Buddhist priests 
read stitras in order to cause rain. As to these ceremonies we 
may refer the reader to the Introduction. 



1 Ch. 130, p. 2a. 2 Ch. VI; cf. Oh. X. 

3 :^ ^ y^, ascribed to Li Yiu, ^ ^, ov Li K^ang, ^%, of the T'ang 
dynasty. T. S., same section, Ch. 131, p. 106. 



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CHAPTER VI. 



EMPERORS CONNECTEi) WlTtfDBAGONS. 



§ 1. Hwang Ti rode on a dragon. 

The drag on bein g the __ symbol of the Empjerox-and, his blissfi 
reign, a large number _i)iJ.egen.ds-po.iQt to the close connectio 
between this jiivine animal and the Son of Heaven. In the firi 
place, of course, the holy Elmperors of the oldest times a: 
mentioned in this respect. 

The Historical Records ' contain the following passage. " Tl 
Emperor Hwang gathered , copper of Mount Sheu and cast 
tripod at the foot of Mount King. When the tripod was read; 
there was a dragon which dropping its whiskers came down t 
meet Hwang Ti. The latter ascended the dragon and rode on i 
after which the ministers did the same, more then seventy me 
in all. Then the dragon ascended and flew away. The remainin 
lower ministers had no opportunity to climb npon the dragoi 
and all at a time got hold of its whiskers, which (by their weighl 
were pulled out and fell down". 

According to the Ku kin dm ^ Hwang Ti was melting cinnaba 
(in order .to prepare the liquor of immortality) in the Tsoh ye 
mountains, when he became a sien and rode on a dragon to th 
sky. When the ministers clung to the animal's whiskers, th 
whiskers fell down. To the question whether they produced th 
so called "Dragon's whiskers herb" the answer is given that thi 
is a false tradition caused by the other name of the same herl 
"Red clouds herb". The same monarch made a winged drago 
(ying lung) attack and ward off the troops of the rebel Ch^i Yiu 



1 Sect. ^ jjjil ^ , Ch. XXVIII, nr 6, p. 30a (Cha.vannes, Memoires Historiqm 
Vol. Ill, p. 488). 

2 "^ -4^ 1^ 5 written about the middle of the 4th century by Ts'ui Pao, ^ ^ 
(cf. Wyue, p. 459, De Groot, Rel. Sysl, Vol. IV, p. 2%4, note 1), quoted T. S , Se( 
^^,Ch.430, f|fP|^^,p.46. 

3 Shan hai.kmg, Sect. XVIII, nr 14, 3^^^^, P- 6&; Bamboo Anno 
^Chuh situ ki nien, 4>j* ^ g^ i4E), Ch. 1,, Legge, Chinese Classics,\o\. Ill, Part 



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§ 2. Yao and Kao Tsu were sons 6f dragons. 

The jEmperor Yao w as said to be the so n of a red dragon, 
who came _ J:oErs ^ ^^h ftr^ hp,a.rin g^on his back the inscriptio n: 
^'^Tou al so recei ve ^eaven's protectio n". Darkness and wind arose 
on all sides, and the dragon touched her, whereupon'she -became 
pregnaut aDd"after~tf months gave birth to Yatr iu Tan -Hng^ 
""^'T^— similar Bt o i^y is l uld -abeia^-^a;o''-Tsn!''XBrTr'2Q6— 195)", the 
founder of the Han dynasty. T'ai kong, his father, saw a hiao 
lung above his wife amidst thunder and lightning and black 
darkness, while she was asleep on the bank of a lange pond; 
She dreamt that she had intercourse with a god, and afterwards 
gave birth to Kao Tsu. This Emperor, who was very fond of 
wine, was always protected by a dragon, when he was drunk ^. 

§ 3. Shun was visited by a yellow dragon. 

JT he Emperor _^lnin,J!£3.o!a_faimous successor, was visited by a 
ye1jo w~^ragnn, ~ wliip.h __Qame__iloJLJE£ 3^ it o c c aly- 

arraour the inscription: "Shun shall asce nd the Throne" was 



visibleT ~~ 5iw^ have _afien-abaKfi^3he_ same holy sovereign inst i- 
tut ed the "Jlcagon -rearer fa jnJLgi", wliose^ members had the t ask 
"ofrearing dragons for the Emperor. _ 



§ 4. Tii drove in a carriage drawn by dragons, and was assisted 

by a ying lung, 

YH, the celebrated founder of the Hia dynasty, drove in a 
carriage drawn by two dragons, which had descended in his 
court-yard, because with him the virtuous power of Hia was at 
its highest point *.' When he had completed the regulation of the 
waters, blue dragons stopped in the suburbs of the capital ^. 
According to a later tradition a ying lung assisted Yu at the 
work by marking the ground with its tail ". 



1 Bamboo Annals, Ch. II, Legge, 1. )., p. 112. 

2 Historical Records, Ch. VIII C^ ijf|_), p. 2; Chavannes', 1.1., Vol. II, pp. 325 sq. 

3 Yuh fu shui i'u, ^ J^ ^ ; T. S., same section, Ch. 128, ^ ^ Zl , 
p. 26. 4 Poh wuh chi, Ch. II, p. 2a. 

5 Bamboo Annals, Ch, III, Legge, 1. 1., p. 117: ^ hI it "f ^ „ 

6 San ts'^ai fu hwui, ^^ yf' ^ 1^, in the Wakan sansai zue, Ch. XLV, p. 
675. According to the Bamboo Annals (Ch. Ill, 1. 1.) the spirit of the Ho river, a man 
>vith a fish body, gave him 3, chart of the Ho, 

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§ 5. Ming Hwang's vessel was moved forward by a dragon. 

Also in later times dragons were said to assist Emperors, as 
was the case in the T'ien pao era (742 — 765), when a small 
dragon arose from a pond the evening before the Emperor Ming 
Hwang, conquered by the rebel Ngan Luh-shan, left the caplital 
and fled to the South. The dragon went in the same direction 
and, when the Emperor crossed a river, the animal appeared in 
the water and carried the ship forward on its back. His Majesty, 
deeply moved by the dragon's loyalty, thanked it and gave 
it wine \ 

§ 6. Two yellow dragons threatened to upset Yu's vessel. 

Sometimes, however, the dragons of rivers and seas caused 
trouble even to Emperors. Thus two yellow dragons threatened 
to upset Til's vessel by taking it on its back, when His Majesty 
crossed the Yang-tsze kiang; but Yii, not in the least frightened, 
laughed and said: "I received my appointment from Heaven 
and do my utmost to nourish men. To be born is the course of 
nature; to die is by Heaven's decree. Why be troubled by the 
dragons?" The dragons, on hearing these words, fled, dragging 
their tails ^. 

§ 7. Shi Hwang died on account of having killed a dragon- 

Another Emperor was severely punished for having killed a 
dragon. This was Shi Hwang, the founder of the Ts'^in dynasty 
(246 — 210 B. C), who was so anxious to have a long life, that 
he was highly rejoiced when two sien came, pretending to know 



1 Ta^ze-liu shi kiu wen, lAt Wl\ ^ ^ ft| , written in the T'ang dynasty by 
Li TEH--VU, ^ ^^ *& . In the same way the vessel of Wu Suh, king of Wu and 
Yueh (i.e. Tb'^ien Liu, A. D. 851 — 932), which in 909 ran on a rock and could not 
advance, was carried forward by two dragons, amidst heavy rain, thunder and lightning 
{Shih-kwoh Ch^un-tn'iu , -j-" 1^ ^^ ^^- written in the latter half of the 17th 

century by Wu JEy-CH'EN, .S- Y^ ff ; according to De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. IV, 
p. 327, "a rathei' apocryphical history" (of ten small states which existed between the 
Tang and Sung 'dynasties) (Wylie, p. 41). T. S., same section, Ch. 129, ^ ^ ~~'. ^ 
p. 14a. 

2 Bamboo Annals, Ch, III, Legge, 1.1., p. 118; cf, Hwai nan tsze, Ch. VII, ^^ 
Sill =trl r, Q 



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how to seek the life-prolonging herb '. After having been favoured 
with high dignities and salaries, they set sail with a crowd of 
six thousand girls and boys, not older than fifteen years, to seek 
the island of the blessed % but although they sought for it a 
long time, it was all in vain. The sien, who were afraid of 
punishment on accoimt of their lies, now invented a new scheme. 
On returning to the Court they advised the Eraperor to go on 
board himself and set out with a large army. Again the foolish 
monarch believed them, and put to sea with not less than three 
millions of soldiers, who made a terrible noise by crying in 
chorus and beating drums (in order to frighten the sea-gods and 
thus be able to reach the island of the blessed). The dragon-god, 
aroused by the din, appeared at the surface of the sea in the 
shape of an enormous shark, five hundred chHh (feet) long, with 
a head like that of a lion. He was immediately surrounded by 
the fleet and killed with poisonous arrows, so that his blood 
coloured the sea over a distance of ten thousand miles. That 
night the Emperor dreamt that he had a battle with the dragon- 
god ; and the next day he fell ill and died within seven days '. 



1 Cf, De Groot, Rel. Syst. of China, Vol. IV, pp. 307 seqq. : the chi, -W^ , a branched 
fungus, which was said to grow on the isle of Tsu in the Eastern Ocean. According 
to the Shih cheu ki ( -+- Ml W^ , ''Description of the Ten Islands", "an account of 
fabulous countries which were believed to exist in several regions beyond the oceans, 
probably written in the earlier part of the Christian era" [De Groot, 1. 1 , Vol. I, p. 
272]) the Emperor heard about the existence of this herb on the Tsu island from a 
Taoist ascetic philosopher, and then sent an envoy to the island with five hundred 
young people of both sexes. They put to sea to seek the island^ but never came back. 

2 P'eng Lai, ^J ^, "fairy land, an elysium far from man's abode; some regard 
it as denoting Kyushij in Japan" (Wells Williams, Chin.-Eng. Diet, p. 661 s. v.). 

3 This version of the tale is to be found in the Taiheiki, "^ ^ f E , Ch. XXVI, 
pp. H5 seqq. 



y 



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CHAPTER VII. 



TRANSFORMATIONS. 



§ 1. The dragon's transformations are unlimited. 

From Kwan tze and the P% ya, quoted above ', we have learned 
that the ^diagofl^s—tiaji^or inations ar ejanlimited. Therefore it is 
no wonder that Chinese literature abounds with stories about 
dragons which had assumed the shape of men, animals or objects. 
When_th ey transformed th emselves into human beings, they 
^mostly appea red^-as-eld-jpen or^feautitul women : the latter remind 
us of the Naga maidens of InHian tales. !:^iometimes fishes, which, 
when being cooked, spread a five-coloured light, or spoke with 
human voices, were recognized to be dragons; but also quadrupeds, 
as dogs, rats or cows, sometimes proved to be the temporary 
shapes of these divine animals. Snakes, of course, closely akin to 
the dragons, often served them as metamorphoses to hide their 
real nature, and new-born dragons were said to creep out of the 
eggs in this form. Finally, trunks of trees or other objects floating 
in the water sometimes suddenly resumed their real dragon shapes. 
One passage ^ says that dragons can always transform themselves 
except at the time of their birth, when they sleep, or when 
they are angry or lustful, but this stands alone among the 
innumerable other statements with regard to their nature and 
capacities. 

§ 2. Appearing as old men or beautiful women- 

As to their appearing as old men we may refer to the Suen 
skill chi ', where a yellow dragon is said to have come to a house 



. 1 Pp. 63 and 65. 

2 Chen chu chw'en, ?^ ^^ ^ (cf. above, pp. i\9, note 7), quoted T. S., same 

section, Ch. 130, f| ^ H ^, P- 66. 

3 M.^ ^^' written by Chang Tun, 5^ U, in the ninth century. Quoted 



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127 

in the mountains in the shape of an old man with a yellow robe. 
The Kwang-sin-fu chi^ contains a story about a ^iJM-sorcerer, who 
in the beginning of the Sung dynasty was praying for rain above 
a well, when he fell into it in trying to catch the white cow horn 
on which he had blown and which suddenly dropped out of his 
hands. At the bottom of the well he saw a majestic old man, 
sitting in a tower in the water, with the horn in his hands. 
This was the dragon of the well, who for this time allowed him 
to return and gave him back the horn on condition that he 
never should make noise near the well again. But at the next 
drought the man forgot his promise and blew on the horn above 
the well like before. This was too much for the dragon, who 
made both horn and man tumble into the water, and this time 
the sorcerer was drowned. Afterwards he appeared to one of the 
villagers in a dream and at his advice a shrine was erected in honour 
of the dragon, who thenceforward heard their prayers for rain. 
Also the Yiu-yang tsah tsu ^ mentions dragons which assumed 
the shapes of old men, as well as of beautiful women ^ Liu 
TsuNG-TUEN * tells how a dragon which was punished by the 
Emperor of Heaven fell down upon the earth in the shape of a 
woman, spreading a brilliant light. She had to stay there for 
seven days, and then, after having drunk some water, her breath 
became a cloudy vapour, she changed into a white dragon, and 
flew up to Heaven. 

§ 3. Appearing as fishes. 
Transformations of dragons into fishes are to be found as well 



1 J@ ^ jjiyl ^, "Memoirs of the department of Kwang-sin (in Kiang-si pro- 
vince)", quoted T. S. 1. 1., p. 16a. 

2 Ch. II and VI; T. S., same section, a.^lSI, f| i^^ ^|» |i^ - p. -'12a. 

3 Ch. VI. 

4 Mn ^ jrj (A. U. 773—819), one of the most celebrated poets and essayists of 
the T'ang dynasty, f ^ ^t 1^' '^- ^■' ^^™^ section, Ch. 127, ^ ^ — 't P- ^b. 
Another punishment of a dragon is mentioned -in the Yun sien tsah ki \ ^S '||lj ^ffi 
gg) about which work De Geoot {Rel. Syst., Vol. IV, p. 289) says: "Ten chapters 

of miscellanies of doubtful authenticity, ascribed to one T'ung Chi, i^ ^ . of whom 
nothing is known but the name. More likely, perhaps, the author was the learned 
Wang Chih, ^ ^^, also named Sing-chi, *^ ^ , who flourished in the middle 
part of the 12th century"), where a disobedient dragon is said to have had his ears cut 
off by Heaven's punishment; the blood which dripped upon the earth produced a plum 
tree with fleshy fruits without kernels. T. S., same section, Ch. 129, ^ ^ Zl-P^^a, 

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128 

in the Dynastic Histories ' as in books of tales and legends like 
the Lang Men hi ^ (Yuen dynasty) and even in a geographical 
work as the Tih fung chi^, where we read about a white eel 
which was caught by some villagers. They ,were about to cook 
it when an old man said: "This is a dragon from the Siang 
Eiver. I am afraid of calamity." But the others considered this 
to be foolish prattle and did not listen to his words. The next 
day the whole village collapsed. 

In the Shwoh yuen * a white dragon is said, to have assumed 
the shape of a fish and to have been hit with an arrow in its 
eye by a fisherman. The dragon accused the man before the 
Emperor of Heaven, but the latter remarked that it was his 
own fault because he had been foolish enough to chiange himself 
into a fish. The fisherman was not to be blamed for having 
treated him like other fishes. This story is often referred to in 
Japanese literature, e. g. in the Zohu hojidan ^, where the fish is 
said to have fallen into the fisherman's net, and to have lodged 
a complaint with the Dragon king (an Indian conception, cf. the 
Introduction and the next chapter), who gave him a similar 
answer and advised him not to do such a foolish thing again. 
In the Taiheiki° Nitta Toshisada, who died in battle, is compared 
to the dragon of this legend, which, instead of hiding itself in 
the depths of a pool, came to a shallow place and was caught 
in the net. 

As we have seen above ', fishes were believed to become dragons 
when they succeeded , in ascending the Dragon-gate (apparently 
a waterfall), and that old tiger-fishes or fishes weighing two 
thousand kin became kiao ^. 



1 Books of the Tsin dynasty, ^)J /^ , Ch. VI, HM ^ ^ (the fish spread a 
five-coloured light when being cooked). 

2 Ch. I (the "fish spoke with a human Vbice). 

3 — - ^ ^, "Memoiis concerning the whole Empire" (1647); T. S., same section, 

Ch. 129, f|^|£^Zl,P-13a. 

4 i^ ^1 written by Liu Hiang, ^J [h) (who lived B. C. 80—9), the famous 
author of the Lieh sien chw'^en ( ^|J 'Ml '^ ) ; Sect, j]^ ^fi . 

5 ^ -^ ^ ^, Ch. II, Gunsho ruijU, Vol. XVII, p. 661. 

6 Ch. XX, p. 9a. The same comparison is to be found in Ch. XXXI, p. 12, of the 
same work. 

7 Book I, Ch. Ill, § 12, p, 86. 

8 Book I, Ch. Ill, § 7, p. 79. 



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12d 
§ 4f. Appearing as snakes, dogs, or rats. 

The Poll mmiff so yen ' relates about a child -which in the 
T'ong-kwang era (923-926) met a white snake on the^road, tied 
it with a rope and swayed its head to and fro till it fell down. 
In a moment a thunderstorm arose and the child was carried into 
the air, where it was struck by lightning and dropped dead on the 
ground. On its back vermilion writing was to be read, announcing 
that Heaven had punished it for having killed a Celestial dragon. 

Two dragons in the shape of mao dogs (^ ^^), ridden through 
the air by sien, are mentioned in the Lieh sien chvfen ^. A sien 
brought them to a diviner, more than 100 years old, and invited 
him to ride on them together with an old woman. According 
to the Lang huen M ^ two guardian gods of a cave palace were 
dragons. The Kiang-si fung-chi * speaks about a very deep 
"Dragon-rearing pond" near the castle of Kwang ch'ang district 
in Kien ch'ang fu, inhabited by a dragon. Over the pond there 
was a stone tray, in which remains of food were always laid 
for the animal, which used to change into a black dog and eat 
the food. This pond was still there in the author's time, and a 
"Dragon-well temple" had been built on the spot. 

In the seventh year of the Kia-yiu era (1062) an enormous 
white rat was. seen smelling the sacrificial dishes offered in the 
temple on the Great White Mountain in Fu fung district (Shen-si 
province), a mountain with much ling, i. e. where the divine 
power of its god as clearly manifested itself in hearing the 
prayers of the believers as was the case on the Japanese moun- 
tain of the same name (Hakusan). Old people declared the rat, 
which only smelled the dishes but did not eat them, to be a dragon ^. 

§ 5. A cow transformed into a dragon- 
The author of the Hwai-ngan-fu chi " tells us how a cow 



i Jfj ^^ JS ^ , ascribed to Sun KwANG-HiEN, ^ -4^ ^ , also called Meng- wen, 

^ ^^' ^ ^^g^ official under the founder of the Sung dynasty (T'^ai tsu, 960 — 976) 
(cf. De GiiOOT, Rel. Syst. Vol. V, p. 527, note 2). T. S., same section, Ch. 129, p. 14a. 
2 T. S., same section, Ch. 131, p. 2fe. 3 Quoted ibidem, p. 36. 

4 T. S., same section, Ch. 129, p. 126. 

5 Tung-fo chi-lin, '^^^^i^^ desultory notes by Su Tdng-p'o, |^ ^' J^ , 

e. Su Shih, ^ ^, a famous poet who lived 1036—1101; T. S., same section, Ch. 

130, p. 4a. 

6 »J^ ^^ V^ ^, "Memoirs concerning Hwai-ngan-fu (in the pro v. of Kiang-su); 

T. S., ibidem, p. 126, . 

Verb. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensoli. (Afd. letterk.) N. R. Dl. XIII, N° 2. 9 

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became a dragou. A rich farmer who possessed a large herd of 
cattle one night dreamt that one of his cows said to him: "I 
have become a dragon and have fought with the dragon of the 
Sang-k'ii lake, but without conquering him. You must bind 
small knives upon my horns". The next day he discovered that 
an extremely big cow of the herd had scales under its belly. 
When he had attached knives to its horns, the, cow conquered 
the other dragon, which was wounded at the eye and retired 
into its lake,^. The cow itself became the dragon of the Great 
Lake. Down to the author's time those who passed this lake 
avoided the character <^ (cow), and those who passed the 
Sang-k'ii lake^ avoided the character |§ (blind of one or both 
eyes) ; otherwise suddenly a storm burst forth and big waves arose. 

§ 6. Appearing as objects. 

With regard to objects which proved to be dragons we may 
refer to the / yuen ^, where we read how a man while fishing 
in a river found a shuttle and took it home. After a short wMle 
the utensil, which he had hung on the wall, changed into a red 
dragon and ascended to the sky amidst thunder and rain. 
A dragon which had assumed the shape of a tree growing 
under water is mentioned in the Shuh i hi'^. A woman who 
touched this tree when going into the water in order to catch 
some fish, became pregnant and gave birth to ten male children. 
Afterwards^ when the dragon appeared in his real forna above 
the water, nine of the boys ran away in fright, but the tenth 
climbed upon his dragon-shaped father's neck and in later years 
became the king of the land ^ The same work tells us about a 
girl in the Palace, ' under the Hia dynasty, who changed into a 
fearful dragon and then, reassuming her human form, became a 
very beautiful woman, who devoured men *. 

In the Books of the Tsin dynasty-' an astrologer is said to have 
discovered the vital spirits (7^) of two precious swords among 
the stars, and pointed out the spot where they were buried. 



1 Ch. Ij p. 2. The same work gives a tale about a big piece of drift wood, which 
brolie the vessel of a man who seized it, turned into a dragon and swam off. 

2 gft ,S =2 (see above, p. 72, note 1), Ch. ~K , p. 166. 

3 Cf. above, Book I, Ch. VI, p. 123. 

4 Ch. _[^ ; p. 4a. 

^ TCiI Jm nil VT if^ }ni Aw Thoaa Kwrnrrls: w/TiirTi fnrnprl mtn o mala anA a 



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There a stone box was dug up, from which a brilliant light 
shone ; -but as soon as the swords were taken out of the box 
their spirits in the sky were extinguished. On one of the swords 
the characters f|^, lung-ts'uen, "Dragon-spring", on the other 
"^ ppj" , fai-o, were written. According to the astrologer such 
supernatural swords could not remain for a long time in human 
hands. Actually one of them soon disappeared, and the other 
one afterwards jumped by itself out of its sheath into a river, 
which its owner was crossing. When it was sought, nothing was 
found except two dragons, two or three chang long, wound 
together and emittiog a brilliant light which illuminated the 
water. Then they vanished, raising turbulent waves by their 
violent movements. Evidently the swords had changed into dragons 
and were united again. 



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CHAPTER VIII. 

THE INDIAN NAGA IN CHINA. 

§ 1. Beborn as a dragon. 

With regard to the Indian dragon {Nagd) in China we may 
refer to the Introduction and to the following legends. 

Buddhist reincarnation into a dragon was said to have been 
the fate of the Emperor Wu's Consort K'ih (first half of the 
sixth century A. D.), who was so jealous that she was reborn 
as a dragon which lived in a well inside the exclosure of the 
Palace and frightened her husband in his dreams. When he was 
in love with some woman, the water of the well was violently 
disturbed. In order to appease the spirit, the Emperor had a 
palace built over the well and all kinds of clothes and utensils 
put there, as if she were still a human being; and he never 
married again '. 

§ 2. Ponds inhabited by Dragon-Kings. 

According to another Buddhist legend ^ a Dragon-King, who 
lived in a palace at the bottom of a pond called Kwun ming 
clii ', appeared as an old man to a hermit who lived in the 
neighbourhood, and besought this man to save his life, as a 
Buddhist priest, under pretext of praying for rain by order of 
the Emperor, made the water of his pond decrease more and 
more, in order to kill him (the dragon) and to use his brain in 
preparing some medicine. The hermit advised the dragon to go 
Sun Sze-moh *, who was studying in the mountains in order to 
become a sien. When the dragon did so, this man promised to 



1 History of the South ( ^ ^ , Nan-shi), f^ jlp ^\] '^ , "f* • 

2 Yiu-yang tsah Isu (ninth century), Ch. V (T. S., 1.1., ^U ^, p. Ha). 

3 a m'Mi.. 



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save him on condition that he should teach him the way of 
preparing, the three thousand kinds of medicine to be found in 
the Dragon-Palace at the bottom of the pond. The dragon accepted 
the condition, whereupon the water of the pond rose more and 
more, and the bonze died with anger and shame. The dragon 
kept his promise, and thus Sun Sze-moh obtained the knowledge, 
preserved in his famous medical work, entitled IVien kin fang '.' 
Other ponds inhabited by Dragon-Kings are mentioned iia the 
Loh-yang hia-lan ki"^ and in the Po-chi kwoh ch'ufen^, but these 
were in foreign, western countries. Sacrifices were made to them; 
to the latter by the passers-by (there were three ponds, in. the 
biggest of which lived the Dragon-King himself, in the next his 
consort and in the smallest his child) because otherwise they 
were sure to be troubled by wind and snow. The former pond 
was near a Buddhist monastery in the West of Wu-yih land, 
and the king of the land prayed to the dragon and threw gold 
and jade into the pond. When these precious objects were washed 
out of the pond he ordered the monks to take them. 

§ 3. Temples of Dragon-Kings. 

A "Dragon-rearing well" * in a "Dra.gon-King's temple" ^ was 
said to be inhabited by a dragon. Nobody dared draw water 
from this well, because if. one did so strange things happened, 
and the person who had ventured to thus arouse the dragon's 
anger fell ill •*. 

Another temple of a Dragon-King on a mountain, near a white 
dragon's pond and (on the top of the mountain) a dragon's den 
are mentioned in the Kwoh i clii '. In time of drought the 
peasants used to pray before the cavern, which always contained 
water in spring and summer, and when they took this water 



\ zC- .^ -Hbr . Dragon's pearls were called -=|^ ^^ ^fc , cf. above, Ch. Ill, § 15, p. 88. 

2 ^i^ 1^ ^/to 1^ ME ) according to Wvlie (p. 55) ''a descriptive detail of the 
various Buddhist estabiishraents in Loh-yang, the metropolis during the N. Wei; written 
by Yang Hoen-ohi, /kS ^^ J^ , an officer of that dynasty" ; it was written in the 
sixth century (De Groot, Rel. Syst., Vol. I, p. 344). T. S., same section, Ch. 131, p. 5a. 

3 ^ ^ -^j quoted T. S., same section, Ch. 129, p. 4b. 

6 Mih k'-oh hwui si (11th cent.), T. S., same section, Ch. 130, p. 36. 

7 i^ S ^. cf De Groot, Rel. Sijst, Vol. IV, p. 210, note 1. This must be the 
later work of this name, dating from the thirteenth century (cf above, p.. 120, note;!), 
as the Shun-hi era (1174—1190) is mentioned. T. S., 1.1., Ch. 130, p. la. 



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aad worshipped it, abundant rains came down. Near to the same 
spot was the Dragon'mother's grave, mentioned above '. 

§ 4. Palaces of Dragon-Kings. 

A Dragon-King's Palace is mentioned in the Luh i ki'^.- 
According to a tradition among the sailors it was situated under 
a small island about five or six days navigating from Su-cheu 
(in Kiang-su province). Even when there was no wind, the waves 
were so high there that no vessel dared approach it directly. 
At every high tide, however, when the water overflowed the 
island and the high waves were not to be seen,, the ships could 
pass there. At night a red light was seen from afar above the 
water on this . spot, bright like sunlight, which extended over- 
more than a hundred miles square and reached the sky. 

The Wuh tsah tsu ' describes the same island, but, without 
mentioning the light, says that it lies above the water, i^ed like 
the sun. Although no human being dared approach it, a sound, 
was heard on the island as if some thousands of men were busy 
there cutting and transporting trees. On clear nights one could 
see that all the trees on the mountains were felled. It was said 
that this was done for building the Dragon-King's abode. Evidently 
the Taoistic ideas concerning the island of the blessed, the land 
of the sien, are confoimded here with the Indian conceptions 
with regard to the Naga palaces. 

Finally, we may quote a passage from the T^ai-p^ing yii-lan *, 
where a magistrate is said to have often received in his house 
a beautiful dragon-woman, who each time arrived in a magnifi- 
cent carriage, accompanied, by female postilions. In his former 
existence he had promised to marry her, and now he kept his 
word and finally disappeared with her. The people said that he 
had gone to the Dragon-Palace 'and had become a "water-sz'era" 

(icfilj)- 



1 Book I, Cb. Ill, § 16, p. 89. 

2 ^ ^ m (ninth century, see above, p. 87, note 4). T. S. same section, Ch. 
129, p. 14a. 

. ^ S. ^ y&, (^"'out 1592), in a passage translated into Japanese in the Heishoku 

wakumonchin, ^ 'j^ ^ 5^ 3^, written in 1710 by Kojima. Fukyii, E3 ill& 
^ 5^1 and printed in 1737, referred to by Indue Enryo, Yokwaigaku kdgi, Vol, II, 

Ch. XXVII (fl ^ fllj f|5), P- 123 sq. 

4 Ch. 424. 



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BOOK II. 

THE DRAGON IN JAPAN. 



CHAPTER I. 



When treating of the Japanese dragon legends we have first 
of all to consider the original beliefs of the natives, and to 
separate these from the conceptions imported from India and 
China. In the oldest annals the dragons are mentioned in various 
ways, bat mostly as water-gods, serpent- or dragon-shaped. 

§ 1. Okami. 

In the Nihongi ' we read that Izanagi, when his consort Izanami 
had died by giving birth to the fire-god Kaguzuchi, cut this child 
into three pieces each of whicli became a god. The blood which 
trickled from the upper part of the sword changed into three 
gods: Kura-okami{^ ^), Kura-yama-tsumi {^ jlj jjj£) and Zwro- 
viitsu-ha ( ^. 1^ ^ ). Professor Florenz gives in his "Japanische 
Mythologie''' ^ extensive notes on these three gods. Kura, says he, 
is explained as "abyss, valley, cleft", although the meaning of 
the character is "dark". The second character, ^, which in 
Florenz's note 26 consists of the characters indicating rain and 
dragon, but in the Japanese text (K. T. K. I, 13) is a combination 
of the upper part of the character ^ with dragon, is explained 



1 Ch. I, K.T.K. Vol.1, V-i^:^MM^k.Wl.M%W. WuB 
W fi ' ^ fri UJ JiSi' 5^ r#l K ^ o K- T- K. is Kokushi taikei, @ ^ 
-Jr* ^ , a modern edition of old historical and legendary works, which we quote as 
K. T. K. Of the same kind are the Shiseki shuran ( ^ ^ ^ ^ ) and the Gunsho 

ruiju (BK ^ ^ ^) (1795), while the Hyakka selsurin ('Q' ^ |^ ;j)j^ ) con- 
tains a great number of works of the Tokugawa period. 



2 P. 



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' 136 

as "dragon"; in the Bungo Fudohi^ the characters i'fe^j "snake- 
dragon", are read "okavii". This and the later ideas about Kura- 
okami show that this divinity is a dragon or snake. He is the 
deity of rain and snow, and in the Manyoshu (2, 19) he is said 
to have been prayed to for snow. The Engishiki states that this 
god Okami had Shinto temples in all provinces. In a variant^ 
we read that one of the three gods who came forth from the 
three pieces of Kaguzuchi's body was Taka-okami. This name is 
explained by one of the commentators as "the dragon-god residing 
on the mountains", in distinction from Kura-okami, "the dragon- 
god of the valleys". ^ 

The passage of the Bungo Fudoki referred to by Florenz says 
that in the village Kutami in Naori district there was a well, 
out of which water was scooped for the Emperor Keiko (71 — 130 
A. D.) (not Suinin, as Flqrenz says), when he visited the place. 
Then a snake-dragon ( i'fe ^ , okami, appeared, whereupon the 
Emperor said : " This water is certainly dirty (kusai). Scooping 
water from it should not be allowed". Therefore the well got 
the name of Kiisa-izumi. 

§ 2. Tamatsumi and Mitsuha. 

As to the second god mentioned in the Nihongi, Kura-yama- 
tsumi, his name means: "Lord of the Dark Mountains", but one 
of the commentators explains it as: "Mountain-snake" (yama- 
tsu[j^]-mi). The name of the third divinity, Kura-mitsu-ha, is 
perhaps to be translated: " Dark- water-snake ", or " Valley- water- 
snake"*. Florenz thinks that this god is identical with Mitsuha 
no Me in the preceding text (Ch. 1, p. 11), although the latter 
is a female deity. There we read that Izanami, when dying in 
consequence of the fire-god's birth, gave birth to the earth- 
goddess Hani-yama-bime and the water-goddess Mitsu-ha no Me 
i^W H ^^)- Florenz ^ devotes an interesting note to the 



1 ^ ^ ^ i IB. written in 713; Gunsho ruijU, Vol. XVII, nr 499, p. 1126. 



2 Nihongi, Ch. I, p. 16; Florenz, 1. 1., p. 63: ySj ^ ^ 

3 According to Aston (Shinto, p. 153) it is simply "0 Kami", "August god", so 
that the names Kura o karai and Taka o kami should mean "God of the valleys" and 
"God of the heights". But in my opinion Florenz's arguments are right. 

4 Florenz translates: ' dunkler Wasserdrache" (dark watei'-dragon), but in note 29 
the -word ha is explained as "snake", not "dragon". Cf. my treatise on the Snake in 
Jap. superstition, Ch. II, A, 2 (Serpent-shaped gods of the water), pp. 13 sqq., Mitt, 
des Seminars f. Orient. Sprachen zu Berlin, Jahrg. XIV, Abt. I, 



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137 

latter, and quotes the Wamydsho ', which by mistake identifies 
Mi-tsu-ha with the Chinese ivang-liang, H ^, instead of with 
the wang-siang, j^ ^ . We read in De Groot's Religious System 
of China ^ that « the Chinese authors generally do not take the 
trouble to distinguish between these two terms (wang-liang and 
wang-siang)". Wang-siang, says De Groot ^ are water-ghosts, as 
well as the lung, or dragons, and he refers to Yti Pao's Sheu 
shen ki*, where a wang-siang is described las looking like "a 
child of three years with red eyes, a bkick complexion, big ears 
and long arms with red claws". 

A Japanese commentator explains mitsu-ha as "Water-snake" 
( ^JC ^^ it's ), and quotes several names and words in which ha 
means "snake"; if this is ixne, Mitsuha no Me is "Female Water- 
snake". Another commentary, however, explains the word ha 
as ^, *to produce", so that the name of the goddess would 
be: "The Woman who produces the water". Plorenz does not 
know which explanation is right, nor can I decide. 

§ 3. "Watatsuini. 

In another passage of the Nihongi^ Izanami and Izanagi are 
said to have given birth to "gods of the sea", called "Watatsumi 
no Mikoto''' {-^ ^ '^), or, as in Ch. Ill, p. 76 (Jimmu Tenno), 
y^^, "little boys" or "boys of the sea". The Chinese characters 
with which this name is written agree with Tu Pao's above- 
mentioned description of the wang-siang as little children; these 
terms are apparently identical with "sea-gods", '/^jji^. Florenz 
explains the name " Wata-tsu-mV as "Lords of the sea", wata 
being an old word for sea, and mi a kind of honorific epithet. 
The same commentator, however, who saw in Mitsuha no Me a 
"Female Water-snake", considers Watu-tsu-mi to be "Snakes of 
the Sea", mi being an old word for snake. It is not impossible 
that he is right, and that the old Japanese sea-gods were snakes 
or dragons. 

§ 4. Mizuchi, the river-gods. 

The name of the river-gods, " mizuchV , or "water-fathers", 



1 ^ ig -^j written by Minamoto no Shitagau, yj^ j|E , who lived 911-983. 

2 Vol. V, Ch. Ill, p. 521. 3 Ibidem. 

4 Ch. XII. See above, p. 81, note 1. 

5 Ch. I, p. 12; Florenz, 1.1., Ch.IV,p. 39; ^ ^ '^ || ^^ :^ /J 

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m.^y m. 



138 

which is found in Gh. XI of the Nihongi', is written with 
the character ^ , kHu, which means a horned dragon ^. Aston ^ 
says: "The River-Gods have no individual names. They are called 
generally midzu-chi or water-father. Japanese dictionaries describe 
the midzu-chi as an animal of the dragon species with four legs. 
Hepburn, in his Japanese-English Dictionary, calls it a large 
water-snake. The difference is not material. The dragon-kings of 
Chinese myth (of whom Toyotamahiko is an echo) are in India 
the Naga Eaja,, or cobra-kings". After having stated that River- 
gods are prayed to for rain in time of drought, Aston gives a 
translation of the above-mentioned interesting passage of the 
Nihongi, which we may quote in extenso : 

"A. D. 379 (67th year of the Emperor Nintoku). This year, 
at a fork of the River Kahashima, in the central division of 
the Province of Kibi, there was a great water-dragon (piizuchi) 
which harassed the people. Now when travellers were passing 
that place on their journey, they were sure to be affected 
by its poison, so that many died. Hereupon Agatamori, the 
ancestor of the Omi of ,Kasa, a- man of fierce temper and of 
great bodily strength, stood over the pool of the river-fork and 
flung into the water three whole calabashes, saying: 'Thou art 
continually belching up poison and therewithal plaguing travellers. 
I will kill thee, thou water-dragon ( ^L ). If thou canst sink these 
calabashes, then will I take myself away, but if thou canst not sink 
them, then will I cut thy body to pieces'. Now the water-dragon 
changed itself into a deer and tried to draw down the calabashes, 
but the calabashes w^ould not sink. So with upraised sword he 
entered the water and slew the water-dragon. He further sought 
out the water-dragon's fellows. Now the tribe of all the water- 
dragons filled a cave in the bottom of the pool. He slew them 
every one, and the water of the river became changed to blood. 
Therefore that water was called the pool of Agatamori"*. 

Aston also refers to another passage of the Nihongi (Ch. XI, 
p. 197), where we read about a similar experiment with two 
calabasses, by which a man who was to be offered to a river-god 
saved his life. It was in the eleventh year of the Emperor 
Nintoku's reign (A. D. 323), and the Emperor had dreamt that 
a god pointed out to him two men, who had to be sacrificed to 
the god of the Northern river, in order to enable the people to 
complete the embankment, which gave way in two places. One 



IK.T.K., Vol. I, p. 209. 2 See above, p. 73. 



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139 

of them plunged into the water and died, whereupon one of the 
parts of the embankment could be completed. The other man, 
however, showed the god's powerlessness by means of the cala- 
bashes which he (the god) could not submerge; and the remaining 
part of the embankment was made without the loss of, this 
man's life. From this passage we learn that in ancient times 
human sacrifices were made to the dragon-shaped river-gods. 

§ 5. Oho-watatsumi, the sea-god. 

Finally we must mention the sea-god Oho-ioata-tsu-mi no Mikoto, 
in whose name we again find the term "Sea-lord" or "Sea-snake", 
spoken of in the preceding text. He is also called Toyo-tama 
hiko no Mikoto ("Abundant-Pearl-Prince"), and his daughter's 
name is " Toyo-tama-bime" ("Abundant-Pearl-Princess, ^3£^)- 
This god had his magnificent palace at the bottom of the sea, 
and when his daughter announced him that she had seen reflected 
in the well before the gate the face of a beautiful youth who was 
sitting in the cassia tree close by, he received Hiko-hohodemi — 
for this was the youth — in a hospitable way. Afterwards the 
guest married the princess and lived in the palace for three 
years. Then, however, he returned to the earth (according to the 
Kojiki on the back of a wani, 5^ >^-, one fathom long) and was 
followed by his consort, for whom he had built a "parturition- 
house" on the seashore. She begged him not to look at her 
while she was giving birth, but he was too curious and peeped 
in, whereupon he saw that his wife had become a wani (Kojiki), 
or dragon (Nihongi). Angry and ashamed she abandoned her 
child, Jimmu Tenno's father, and returned to the Sea-god's 
palace '. 

§ 6. Wani. 

The word wani, which is written either phonetically ( 5(Hl i® ) 
or with the character |^, indicating a crocodile, is found once 
more in Chapter I of the Nihongi (p. 40). We read there: 
"Further it is said that Koto- shir o-nushi no kami changed him- 
self into a bear-wam, eight fathoms long {ya-hiro no kuma-wani, 



1 Nihongi, Cb. II, pp. 62 seqq.; Kojiki, J^ , ^ -f- ^ , f ^ |^ "fC , K. T. K. 
Vol. VII, p. 59: ^ /\ ^ ^'^\^ ^ ^ ^tt o ^'■'""'S'^' P- 63: >ft 
^ fl ; p. 66 (a variant): >(t 1^ A ^ )^ W. P (^^"•) tl ^ ^1 ifii o 



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uo 

A^fi^if)- The epithet "bear" means "strong as a bear"'. 
As to the word ivani, one version of the Hohoderai legend ^ says 
that the sea-princess became a loani, and according to another 
version she changed into a dragon; in the former the same words 
are used as in the above-mentioned passage about Koto-shiro- 
uushi no kami: "Toyotama-bime changed into a big heav-ivani, 
eight fathoms long, which crept about". Aston ', in a note to 
this passage, supposes that the word wani is not a Japanese, 
but a Korean word, wang-i, which should simply mean: king. 
Florenz* agrees with him, and they base their opinion upon the 
fact that the legend has strong Chinese features. Although the 
Indian notions about the Naga-kings related above (Introduction) 
are easily to be recognized in the Japanese legend, yet I think we 
must not go as far as to consider the whole story western, nor 
have we the right to suspect the old word wani on account of 
the fact that a part of the legend is of foreign origin. Why 
should the ancient Japanese or Koreans have called these sea- 
monsters "kings", omitting the word "dragon", which is the 
most important part of the combined term "dragon-king"? And 
if the full term were used in Korea, certainly the Japanese 
would not have taken up only its last part. In my opinion the 
loani is an old Japanese dragon- or serpent-shaped sea-god, and 
the legend is an ancient Japanese tale, dressed in an Indian 
garb by later generations. The oldest version probably related 
how Hohodemi went to the sea-god, married his daughter and 
obtained from him the two jewels of ebb and flood, or some 
other means to punish his brother by nearly drowning him; 
afterwards, when having returned to the earth, he built the 
parturition-house, -and breaking his promise of not looking at 
his wife when she was giving birth, saw that she had changed 
into a loani, i. e. an enormous sea-monster. As to the pearls, 
although mysterious jewels are very common in the Indian tales 
about the Naga-kings, it is possible that also Japanese sea-gods 
were believed to possess them, as the sea conceals so many treasures 
in her depths; but it may also be an Indian conception. When 
later generations got acquainted with the Chinese and Indian 
dragons, they identified their wani with the latter, and embellished 
their old legends with features, borrowed from the Indian Naga 
tales. The magnificent palace is of Indian origin, and, as Aston^ 



1 Florenz, 1.1., p. 148, note 89. 2 Nihongi,Ch. II, p. 66. 

3 Nihongi, Vol. I, p. 61, note 3. 4 L. 1. p. 148, note 89. 



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points out, the castle gate and the (cassia) tree before it, as 
well as the well which serves as a mirror, form a combination 
not unknown to European folklore. Europe probably also got 
them from India, the cradle of Western and Eastern legends. 

After having written this I got acquainted with the interesting 
fact, pointed out by F. W. K. Muller \ that a similar myth is 
to be found as well on the Kei islands as in the Minahassa. 
The resemblance of several features of this myth with the 
Japanese one is so striking, that we may be sure that the latter 
is of Indonesian origin. Probably the foreign invaders, who in 
prehistoric times conquered Japan, came from Indonesia and 
brought this myth with them. In the Kei version the man who 
had lost the hook, lent to him by his brother, enters the clouds 
in a boat and at last finds the hook in the throat of a fish. In 
the Minahassa legend, however, he dives into the sea and arrives 
at a village at the bottom of the water. There he discovers the 
hook in the throat of a girl, and is brought home on the bach 
of a big fish. And like Hohodemi punished his brother by nearly 
drowning him by means of the jewel of flood-tide, so the hero 
of the Minahassa legend by his prayers caused the rain to come 
down in torrents upon his evil friend. In Japan Buddhist influence 
evidently has changed the village ia the sea into the palace of 
a Dragon king, but in the older version the sea-god and his 
daughter have kept their original shapes of wani, probably a 
kind of crocodiles, as the Chinese character indicates. An old 
painting of Sensai Eitaku, reproduced by Muller, shows Hoho- 
demi returning home on the back of a crocodile, [t is quite 
possible that the form of this Indonesian myth introduced into 
Japan spoke about crocodiles, and that the vague conception of 
these animals was retained under the old name of wani, which 
may be an Indonesian word. 

On p. 149 of the same work Aston says: "There can be little 
doubt that the loani is really the Chinese dragon. It is frequently 
so represented in Japanese pictures. I have before me a print 
which shows Toyotama-hiko and his daughter with dragons'' heads 
appe'aring over their human ones. This shows that he was conceived 
of not only as a Lord of Dragons, but as a dragon himself ...» 
In Japanese myth the serpent or dragon is almost always asso- 



4 Mylhe der Kei-lnsulaner und Verwandtes, Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, Vol. XXV 
(1893), pp. 533 sqq. Dr H. H. Juvnboll kindlj' pointed out to me the existence of these. 
Kei- and Minahassa myths and Dr MOller's interesting article. Cf. Kern, in the periodi- 
cal entitled "Bijdragen tot de taal-, land en volkenkunde van Ned. Indie", -ISgS, p. 501 ; 
JUYNBOLL, ibidem, 1894, p. 712, note 1. 

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dated with water in some of its forms". He gives the print on 
the same page, and we see at once that we are here not so 
much on Chinese, as on Indian territory. In the Introduction (pp. 
4 sq.) I have referred toGRtiNWEDEi/s description of the dragon in 
Indian art, so that I need not explain that "the dragon's heads 
appearing over the human one" form quite an Indian motive, 
transferred to China and from there to Korea and Japan. As the 
sea-god in his magnificent palace was an Indian conception, 
Japanese art represented him, of course, in an Indian way. This 
is, however, no proof that the wani originally was identicalwith 
the Naga, or with the Chinese-Indian dragon-kings. 

§ 7. The jewels of flood and ebb. 

In regard to the jewels of flood-tide and ebb-tide we may 
refer to the Mizu hagami ^ which contains a legend apparently 
made in imitation of the Hiko-Hohodemi tale in the Kojiki and 
the Nihongi. It runs as follows. In the year 200, wlaen the 
Empress Jingo (200 — 269) arrived in Korea, she took some sea 
water in her hand and prayed from far to the god of Kashima 
(in Hitachi) and Kasuga (Takemikazuchi, who had a famous old 
temple at Kashima and another on the hill of Kasuga at Nara, 
under the name of Kasuga-daimyojin ; the latter was, however, 
not built before 710). Then came the gods of Kasuga and Sumiyoshi 
and Suwa, clad in armour and with helmets on their heads, to the 
Empress's ship. Kasuga sent the Great God (Daimyojin) of Kawa- 
kami ^ as a messenger to the Dragon-palace (^^, rytigu) at 
the bottom of the sea, and this mighty river-god took the "pearl 
of ebb" and the "pearl of flood" from the Great Dragon-king 
Sagara ^ and brought them with him to the surface. While the 
Korean warships were put up in battle array, the pearl of ebb, 
thrown into the sea, made the water suddenly dry up *. Then 
the king of Koma entered the sea-bed with his troops in order 
to destroy the Japanese fleet; but as soon as he did so the god 
of Kawakami, following Kasuga's order, threw the pearl of flood 

* :3!fC it ' *^''' _h . 1$ ^ ' K- T. K. Vol. XVII, p. 351 ; written in the second 
half of the twelfth century. 

2 I^hJ* Jl , the "Rain-Master" ( ^ gj|j ), see below, Ch. IV. 

3 IjI? iC^ ^ , also mentioned in the Fuso ryakki, Shomu Tenno, K. T. K . Vol. VI, 
p. 564. He is one of the eight Great Dragon-Kings, cf. above, p. 4. 



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into the sea, and behold, all of a sudden the water rose tremendously 
and filled the whole sea-bed. The frightened troops all prayed 
for their lives, for the water covered even the whole of Koma 
land. Then the pearl of ebb was thrown into the sea again, and 
the water sank. So the Empress by Kasuga's assistance conquered 
the enemy's army without shedding a single drop of blood, and 
obtained three ships laden with tributes and treasures from the 
king of Koma. 

In the Nihongi ' we read that in the second year of the Emperor 
Chuai's reign (A. D. 193) the Empress Jingo found in the sea a 
nyo-i-tama {-^ iS 3£)' ^ "jewel which grants all desires" {cintamani). 
About such jewels the Indian Naga tales have taught us above ^. 
Flokenz observes in a note to this passage ^, that the Usa no miya 
engi * states that the Empress dbtained two jewels from the Dragon- 
palace, the " kan-ju'''' and the "manju'", the above-mentioned ebb 
and flood-jewels, and that this ^ book describes them as being 
about five sun long, the former white and the latter blue. 

§ 8. Take-iwa Tatsu no Mikoto, the dragon-god of a sacred 
pond in Hlgo province. 

The Sandai jitsuroku " mentions a Japanese dragon in the 
following passage. "In Jogwan 6 (A. D. 864), on the 26th day 
of the 12th month, the Dazaifu (^j^l^jjy^, the Government of 
Tsukushi, i. e. the present Kyushu, which had its seat in Chikuzen) 
reported to the Emperor the following facts: 'In Higo province, 
Aso district, in the sacred pond of Take-iioa Tatsu no Mikoto 
(# ^fi ^)' "The Dragon-god of the Strong Rock",' a god of 
the upper second rank and the fifth Order of Merit (^, kun), 
in the night of the third of the tenth month of last year [i. e. 
the same year 864, because this would be "last year" at the 
time when the Emperor received the letter] a sound was heard 
and a shaking motion observed. The water of the pond leapt up 
into the air and fell down in the East and West; that wich fell 
in Eastern direction spread like a long strip of cloth, about ten 
cho broad. The colour of the water was like that of shoyu (red) ; 
it stuck to plants and trees, and even after ten days its traces 



1 Ch. VIII, p. 156: ;i0M^#^tt^^^-^'t'o 

2 Introd., p. 10. 3 L. 1., pp. 222, note 13. 

4 Usa Hachiman no miya engi, ^ '^ A l|^ *§* /^ ^ ' '^°P'®'^ ^^ ^^^ ^"'^'' 

5 ^ >f^ 3^ ^, written in 910; K.T.K., Vol. IV, Ch. IX, p. 167. 



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had not yet vanished. Further, in the same night one of the 
three stone gods, about 4 jo high, which from olden times had 
stood on the mountain peak of Hirae-g'arai (the "Female Deity"), 
was broken. The officials of the Dazaifu, having practised tortoise 
divination, positively declared that these occurrences were omens 
of (litt. corresponded with) calamity of water [^fC^, sui-eki, 
litt. "water-pestilence"; in the following text, however, hei-eki, 
"war-pestilence", is said to have been predicted by the diviners]" '. 

On the tenth day of the second month of the following year 
(865 A. D.) the Emperor issued a proclamation ^, in which he 
said that the aforesaid evil omens were due to his own bad 
reign and that he therefore thenceforth would earnestly pray to 
the gods and reign better than before. He said that the water 
of the sacred pond spoken of by the Dazaifu never increased 
even if it rained excessively, nor decreased even in times of 
drought (litt. excessive sunshine) ^ and that divination had made 
out that the sudden throwing up of its water was an omen of 
war *. He was much grieved, he said, but hoped to stop these 
bad influences by reigning better than before. And seven days 
later ^ he despatched two messengers to the Imperial mausolea 
at Tamashina and made them read there a written message to 
his ancestor Tenji Tenno, by which he communicated the whole 
matter to him and besought him to ward off this calamity. 

Of so much importance were the "Dragon-god of the strong 
Eock" and his sacred pond. It is the first time that we meet 
the word tatsu used separately] in the sense of dragon (in the 
Nihongi only to be found in the name Tatsuta, "Dragon-field"), 
and we may be sure that we meet here with a very old Japanese 
dragon-divinity. The same pond is mentioned in the Nihon koki'^, 
but without the name of the god to whom it belonged. We 
read there in a proclamation of the Emperor Kwammu in the 
year 796 A. D. the following: "The Dazaifii has reported that in 



2 Ch. X, p. 173. 

* ^^^jf ^o ^^%n. 5 Ch.X,p.l74. 

6 H 2J5: # IE' written in 841; Ch. V, K. T. K. Vol. Ill, p. 2: -j^^ ^ 



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Higo province, Aso district, there is in the mountains a water 
(numa, yg , not only a swamp, but a water bigger than a pond 
and smaller than a lake)^ which is called "The Sacred Pond" 
(jjj^^'/|b^, Shinreichi). For many years past even in times of 
large floods or heavy droughts the water of that pond did not 
rise nor fall. Now, however, it has, without any reason, decreased 
more than twenty jo. According to the diviners this means cala- 
mity of drought (:^^, han-eU, litt. 'pestilence of drought')"'. 
In 840 it fell 40 jo ^, and the Emperor ordered the people by 
proclamation to pray for averting this bad omen =>. 

§ 9. An Emperor's dragon-tail. 

In the Ainosho * a funny explication is given of the use of the 
word bird (J^^) in the sense of dotal {^'^, "same body"). 
According to some people, says the writer, this is due to the fact 
that the Emperor- Ojin (270 — 310, the Empress Jingo's son, 
deified as Hachimau in 712) had a dragon's tail, because he 
was a descendant of the sea-god (Jimmu Tenno, his ancestor, being 
the grandson of the sea-god's daughter ^). In order to hide this 
tail he invented the suso or skirt. One day, however, when he 
left the room, the tail was still inside when a lady-in-waiting 
shut the sliding-doors and pinched the tail between them. Then 
the Emperor exclaimed: "Biryu", "(I am) a tailed dragon". 
Afterwards this word biryu was changed into bird with the 
meaning of "same body", because the Emperor had meant to 
say that what was between the door was also belonging to his 
body (!). The author of VaQ 'Ainosho believes the legend of Ojin 
Tenn5's dragon's tail, because, says he, Toyotamabime's son 
Ugaya-fuki-aezu uo Mikoto married his own aunt, also a daughter 
of the sea-god, a younger sister of his mother, called Tamayori- 
hime, with whom he begot four sons, the youngest of whom 
was Jimmu Tenno. Therefore in his opinion it is quite possible 
that Jimmu's descendants had dragon-tails ! 



1 The same thing is to be found in the Nihon isshi, ^ ^^ i^ ^ , Ch, IV and 
XIII, K. T. K. Vol. VI, pp. 39 and 363. 

2 Shoku Nihon kokl, ^ ^ ^ ^^' written in 869 ; Ch. IX, K. T. K. Vol. 

Ill, p. 285. 

3 Same work, Ch. IX, p. 288. Of. Ch. X, p. 293. 

4 A^ ^ ^k, an encyclopaedia written in 1446 by the Buddhist priest Gyogo, 

^ ^\ Ch. VII, nr 21, p. 19. 5 See above, p. 139. 

Veih. Kon. Akad. v Wetensch. (Afd. Lelterk.) N. K. Dl XIII, N°- 2. 10 

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CHAPTER II. 

THE CHINESE DRAGON. AND THE DRAGON-HORSE AS OMENS IN JAPAN. 

In China the dragon often and the dragon-horse always belong, 
as we have stated above ', to the very good omens. The Japanese, 
who have altogether embraced the opinions of the Chinese upon 
the subject of forebodings, did not hesitate to believe in ihe 
truth of their assertions also in regard to the appearance of 
dragons. 

§ 1. IFlying dragon as horse of a ghost or a sien. 

The Chinese dragon^ flying through the air, is mentioned in 
the Nihongi'^, where we read: *0n the first day of the fifth 
month of the first year of the Empress Saimei's reign (655) there 
appeared in the sky a man riding on a dragon. In shape he 
resembled a Chinese, and he wore a blue (broad-rimmed bamboo) 
hat (cevered with) oiled silk. Galloping from Katsuragi peak he 
disappeared into the Ikoma mountains; at noon he galloped away 
from the top of Sumi no e (Sumiyoshi, ^'^) 's Pine-tree Peak 
in a western direction". 

The Fuso ryakki^ gives the same legend and adds: "The people 
of that time said: 'It is the soul of Soga Toyora no 0-omi 
Emishi". This was a famous minister who had died in A. D. 645, 
son of Umako and grandson of Iname, the first protectors of 
Buddhism; Iname had erected the first Buddhist temple, Kogenji 
or Katsuragi-dera, which was destroyed in 645 at the fall of the 
Soga family. Although it is not stated in the text of the Nihongi, 
probably the appearance of this dragon, as _ horse of a sien *, in 
the beginning of the Empress's reign was a very good omen, as 



1 Book I, Ch. II, pp. 43—59. 2 Ch. XXVI, p. 457. 
3 jfi^ ^ 5^ gi^, written about- H50 by the Buddhist priest Kwo-en, ^ 
1 _r *u_ r.,^ n„^„rv: . V ■v ir i7„i An « KAR nv. ^\r 



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well as that of the yellow dragon .which was seen ascending 
from the northwestern mountains to the sky in A. D. 887, at the 
Emperor Uda's accession to the Throne \ 

§ 2. Dragon-horses. 

In the Nihongi'^ we read.: "The Emperor (Kotoku Tenno, in 
the sixth year of his reign, i. e. 650) said: 'When a holy 
sovereign appears in the world and reigns the empire. Heaven 
in correspondence therewith gives good omens. In olden times, 
under the reign of the monarchs of the Western country (China), 
Ch'eng Wang of the Cheu dynasty and Ming Ti of the Han dynasty 
[in reality of the Tsin dynasty], white pheasants appeared. Under 
the reign of the Japanese Emperor Honda (Ojin Tenno, 270 — 310 
A. D.) a white raven nestled in the Palace, and in the time of 
the Emperor Osazaki (Nintoku Tenno, 311 — 399' A. D.) a dragon- 
horse (^ill, ryU-me, or tatsu no uma)^ appeared in the West. 
Thus from olden times down till the present day there are many 
instances of the appearance of lucky omens in correspondence 
with the presence of virtuous men". 

Also the Engishiki^ enumerates the dragon-horse among the 
lucky omens (jj^ 3|§). It is called there. a "divine horse" ()jj^ j^), 
and. is described as follows: "It has a long neck and wings at 
its sides. When it treads upon the water it does not sink"^. 
The dragon is mentioned in the same list, with the following 
description borrowed from China: "He has five colours and walks 
(or flies) about; he can make himself invisible or visible, small 
or big". 

The Shoku Nihongi'^ and the Shoku Nihon koW^ quote Chinese 



1 Fuso ryakki, Ch. XXII, p. 637 : gP #[ ;^ ^ ^ Mi ^ [U ^ "^ M 

2 Ch. XXV, p. 451: n 3E m itt: 7o ^ T ^ . ^ MiJ ii :<: ^ ^ 

3 See above, pp. 56 sqq. 

4 ^ ^ i£' "Ceremonies of the Engi era" (901—922), written in 927 by 
FujiWARA NO ToKiHiRA and Tadahira (^i^ ^^ and ;^^); Ch. XXI, 
Section '/^ fP ^^ K. T. K. Vol. XIII, p. 653: || ,|| ( f | ^ „ M^^ 

5 Of. the Shut ying t'-u, above p. 57. 

6 ^g g :^ |g, written in 797; Ch. IX, K, T. K. Vol. II, p. 145: "The Hiao 
king, Sect. "Covenants of assisting gods", says: 'When the Son of Heaven is obedient 

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expressions in regard to tortoises and dragpns appearing as signs 
of the reign of a good emperor. 

The JSfihon Sandai jitsuroku ' coriipares a cloudy vapour, which 
hung under the sun on the 27th day of the 7th month ot 
A. D. 883, with a dragon-horse, and states that in A. D. 885 the 
"dragon-star" (^^) appeared twice ^ reason why the name 
of the era was phanged (apparently it was considered a bad 
omen), as the Emperor informed to the people in a proclamation, 
and Grwangyo 9 was replaced by Ninna 1. 

In the Kpnjaku. monogatarp we find a much mutilated passage 
about a dragon-horse which flew through the air in Shomti 
Tenno's time (724-749). 

The Masu kagami * mentions the- dragon-horse only in regard 
to its capacity of crossing broad rivers. In 1221, when Hojo 
Yoshitoki marched from Kamakura to Kyoto against the Emperor 
Juntoku, the rivers Fujigawa and Tenryugawa (^^liH' 
"Celestial Dragon-Eiver") were swollen by the rains to such a 
degree, "that even a dragon-horse . could not have crossed them". 

An interesting passage with regard to the dragourhorse is found 
in the Taiheiki ^, where soch an excellent horse ° is said to 
have been presented by Enya Takasada to the Emperor Godaigo 
(1318 — ^1339). His Majesty praised it highly, and said that it 
was certainly a "Heavenly horse" (ternma, ^ j^). At his question 
whether t;he fact that such a horse had appeared during his reign, 
was a good or a bad omen, the answer of the courtiers was, that it 
was an extremely lucky sign, due to His Majesty's own virtues. 
As phoenixes appeared at the Chinese Emperor Shun's time 



to liis parents, celestial dragons descend and terrestrial tortoises appear'." ("^ J^ 

^f|^0o ^^#.Mll^fl|if . J^^ml); Cf. above, pp. 
38, 40, 43 sq. 

7 ^^ B :4^ ^ IE' 'Written in 869; Ch. XVIII, K. T. K. Vol. Ill, p. 401. 

1 B ;^ H 'f^ K ^' written in 901; Ch. XLIV, K.T. K. Vol. IV, p. 607. 
Cf. the Fitso rijakki, Ch. XX, K.T. K. Vol. VI, p. 616. 

2 Ch. XLVII, p. 657. 

3 -4k =S^ ^M W^< written by Minamoto no TakakunJ, ■jrS 1^ ^ , who lived 
1004—1077, i.e. Uji Dainagon; Ch. XI, K. T. K. Vol. XVI, p. 546. 

4 :t§" ^, written in 1340—1350; Ch. II, K- T. K. Vol. XVII, p. 1012. 

5 -j^ 2p m^ written about 1382; Ch. XIII, p. 1. 

6 Excellent horses were often called "flying dragons" (^^1' /'c'^"'*9') ''y **>® 
Chinese, cf. the . IVi/con Koki, Ch. XII, K. T. K. Ill, p. 48, and. the Sh'okii Nihon koki, 



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(supposed to have reigned B. C._ 2255— 2205), and a hilin in the 
age of Confucius, so this heavenly horse w^as an excellent omen for 
the period, foreboding at the same time the Emperor's long 
reign and life, and the glory of Buddhism. They further related 
how at the time of a Chmese Emperor, Muh Wang of the Cheu 
dynasty, eight heavenly horses had appeared, all having different 
names, and how the Emperor, drawn by them all, had visited every 
place of the world '. So all those present congratulated Godaigo 
with his horse, except Fujiwara no Fujifusa. When his opinion 
was asked, he declared to be convinced that it was not a good 
omen, and he too referred to Chinese examples to confirm his 
statement. The houses of two Emperors of the Han dynasty, 
Wen and Kwang Wu, who had refused such presents, had had 
a long and lucky reign, he said, while that of Muh, who had 
used the eight heavenly horses, had soon declined. Those horses 
were only a metamorphosis of the Fang constellation (^, the 
eleventh of the zodiacal constellations), and an omen of the fall 
of the Cheu dynasty. Godaigo, on hearing these words, was 
angry and put a stop to the festivities of the day. Not believing 
Fujifusa's pessimistic prediction he accepted the horse, and a 
few years later (1336) the great schism of the Southern and 
Northern Courts seemed to prove the truth, of Fujifusa's words. 

The same work ^ relates how the Emperor Godaigo gave the 
aforesaid dragon-horse to Nitta Toshisada, when he despatched 
him to Owari province (1335). It was expected to cover the 
distance, which would have required four or five days with an 
ordinary horse, in half a day, so that he could be back in Kyoto 
that very evening. In a few hours he arrived in Omi province, 
but there the animal suddenly died, which was, of course, a very 
evil foreboding. 

Finally, we may mention a dragon-horse which certainly was 
not a harbinger of evil, namely that on which the Empress Jingo 
after her Consort Chuai's death (200 A. D.) flew through the air 
to Sugiyaraa at Ikeda, Buzen province, where she prayed to the 
gods for assistance with respect to her expedition against Korea. 
Then the Four Deva Kings, with eight white flags (Hachiman^ 
/V 1^) i'l their hands, descended from Heaven ^ 



1 Cf. above, p. 59, 

2 Ch. XIV, p. 14. 

3 Sansha takusen ryakusho, ^ jjft gt ^ ^ ^5 author unknown; the year 
Keian 3 (1650) is mentioned as date of the epilogue. Zoku zoku gunsho vuiju, Vol. I, 
p. 741. 

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§ 3. Carriage of a ghost drawn through the air by eight dragons. 

In connection with the same Emperor a third tale in the 
Taiheiki ' may be mentioned. Omori Morinaga, who had conquered 
Godaigo's loyal general, KusunoM Masashige (1336), one evening 
saw the latter's ghost appearing in the garden and trying to 
deprive him of his sword. He questioned the spirit by whom 
he was accompanied, whereupon Masashige answered that the 
Emperor Godaigo, that Emperor's son Prince Morinaga (killed at 
Kamakura in 1335) and Nitta Toshisada had come with him. 
Omori lighted a torch and, looking upwards, discovered in a big 
cloud twenty demons carrying on their shoulders the Imperial 
sedan-chair; then followed the Prince in a carriage drawn hy 
eight dragons ^, and Toshisada rode in front with more than 
three thousand horsemen. This reminds us of a sentence in the 
Gempei seisuiki ', a quotation from the Ba-iku-kyo *, which says 
that "in heaven a horse is made into a dragon and among men 
a dragon is made into a horse" *. The number eight is stereo- 
typical in these legends about dragons ridden by kings or gods, 
or drawing their carriages. So we read about a Buddhistic god 
with twelve faces and forty two arms brandishing swords and 
lances, and riding eight dragons in the air amidst rain and wind '^. 

§ 4. A dragon appears as a good omen. 

The Kanden jihitsu ' describes a dragon which was seen under 
a bridge near Unawa village, Harima province, at the foot of 
Mount Shiko. It was seven shaku long, had one horn, hands 
and feet, and its body had the colour of leaves of a tree tinged 
with a golden lustre. It was a beautiful animal, exactly like the 
red dragons on pictures. When the villagers descended from the 



1 Ch. XXIII, p. 3. 

3 Ch. XXXVII, p. 982. 

6 See below, Ch. IV, Taiheiki, Ch. XII, p. 96. 

' Itl BB ^ ^f ' ■""'i^*'^" '^y ^^^ sa.m& author who wrote the Kanden kohitsu, 



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bridge and stroked its horn, it was not afraid or angry, but 
apparently rejoiced. Afterwards the skin of this divine dragon 
was found near by, on the other side of the river. "This was 
not an evil dragon or a poisonous snake, but probably a lucky 
omen of a good reign. The fact that the crop of that very 
autumn was good, was brought into connection with the appearance 
of the dragon, which was (therefore) said to be a venerable 
being" '. 



1 Hyakka setsiirin, Vol. ^^ ~K — ■, Ch. IV, p. 172. The Gwadan keiroku, -jg- 
B^ W^ ^ (written in 1775 by Nakayama Koyo, 'i^ jjj ^ ^ , Ilyakka setsurin, 
Vol. \\^ ~TJ , p. 419) speaks about the officials appointed ia ancient China for rearing 

dragons (cf. above, Book I, Ch. Ill, § 8, p. 82), which were not real dragons but horses; 
further, it treats of dragon pictures. 

Another work of the Hyakka setsurin {_Konyd manroku, ^ |® y® ^&, written 

in 1763 by AoKi Konto, ?q ^ ^ ^, Hyakka setsurin, Vol. jj^ _|^ , p. 880) 

mentions dragon-bones (cf above, Book I, Ch. Ill, § 17, pp. 90 sqq). A Dutchman, to 
whom the author, Aoki, showed such a bone, declared it to be a stone, in agreement 
with a Chinese work, v- 



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CHAPTER III. 

CAUSING RAIN. 
§ i. Shinto gods. 

The ancient annals of Japan very frequently speak of heavy 
droughts which threatened the country with hunger and misery. 
They were considered to be punishments, or at any rate plagues, 
from the gods, which could only be stopped by earnest prayers 
and offerings to the same divinities. The old, dragon-shaped 
river-gods (the "river-uncles", jfftj" 'f^ , kawa no kami) especially, 
from olden times believed to be the givers of rain, were besought 
not to withhold their blessings any longer from the parched 
and suffering land. 

The JSfihongi ' tells us thaj: in the first year of the Emperor 
Kogyoku's reign (642) there was a long drought which could 
not be stopped by the Shinto priests. In Aston's translation this 
passage runs as follows: "25th day. The .Ministers conversed with 
one another, saying: — 'In accordance with the teachings of 
the village hafuri [Shinto priests], there have been in some 
places horses and cattle killed as a sacrifice to the Gods of the 
various (Shinto) shrines, in others frequent changes of the market- 
places [both old Chinese customs^], or prayers to the River-gods. 
None of these practices have had hitherto any good result'. 
Then Soga no Oho-omi [Iruka, the last of the Soga's, who was 
killed in. 645, together with his father Emishi; all the Soga's, 
Iname, Umako, Emishi and Iruka, were mighty ministers and 
great protectors of Buddhism] answered and said: — 'The 
Mahayana Sutra ought to be read by way of extract ' in the 
temples, our sins repented of, as Buddha teaches, and thus with 
humility rain should be prayed for'". 



\ Ch. XXIV, K. T. K. Vol. I, p. 410. 

2 Cf. Aston's note to this passage {Nihongi, Vol. II, p. 174, note 4), aud Florenz's 
note 3 {Nihongi, Japanische Annalen, Book XXII — XXX, sec. ed., p. 75). 

3 ^i ^J, tendoku; Aston, p. 175, note 1: "the reading of passages of a hook to 



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"27th day. In the' South Court of the Great Temple, the images 
of Buddha aud of the Bosatsu (Bodhisattvas), and the images 
of the four Deva Kings, were magnificently adorned. A multi- 
tude of priests, by humble request, read the Mahayana Sutra. 
On this occasion Soga no Oho-omi held a censer in his hands, 
and haying burnt incense in it, put up a prayer". 
''28th day. A slight rain fell". 

''29th day. The prayers for rain being unsuccessful, the reading 
of the Sutra was discontinued". 

"Sth month, 1st day. The Emperor made a progress to the 
river-source of Minabuchi; Here he knelt down and prayed, 
worshipping towards the four quarters, and looking up to Heaven 
[Chinese style, as the Buddhist prayers had been without result]. 
Straightway there was thunder and a great rain, which eventually 
fell for five days, and plentifully bedewed the Empire. [One 
writing has : — 'For five days there was continuous rain, and the 
nine grains ripened']. Hereupon the peasantry throughout the 
Empire cried with one voice: 'Bansai', and said: 'An Emperor 
of exceeding virtue' ". 

Among the eighty five Shinto shrines to which messengers 
were despatched by the Court to pray for rain , the Engishiki i 
mentions several river and water-deities, e. g. the gods of 
Kibune ^ and Nibu no kawakami ^ but also the Wind-gods of 
Tatsuta *, the Thunder-god of Kamo '^ and many others. The 
Nihongi^ repeatedly uses the same words in regard to these 
prayers, namely: "The Emperor sent daihu {'j^^, officials of 
a high rank) as envoys to the different Shinto temples in order 
to pray for rain; he also despatched messengers to pray to the 
god 0-imi of Hirose and to the Wind-gods of Tatsuta (f| ^, 
'Dragonfield')". Was it accidental that the Wind-gods, who appeared 
to be also givers of rain, had their shrine at a place called 



1 Ch. Ill (p Ift H, f^ ^ ^), K. T. K. Vol. XIII, p. 142: ff K f| 

^ A + ^ ^ o 

^ fl ffl ft z: ^ „ 

6 Ch. XXX, P, 565: ^ 3^ ^ 1^ ^ ^ 11 if jfl± ff M » X M ^ 

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"Dragon-field"? The word tatsu, dragon, is, as far as I know, not 
found in the Nihongi, except in this name, but the fact that 
the ancient Japanese had such a word indicates that they them- 
selves knew a kind of dragons before they were taught by 
Koreans and Chinese about the existence of the Chinese dragons. 
They identified these tatsu with the lung (f|), and, as we have 
seen above (p. 138), wrote the name of their "water-fathers", 
mizuchi, with the character ^L, kHu (the horned dragon), while 
the word okami was written by means of a character, partly 
consisting of rain and dragon. 

Their dragons were kami, gods ', who lived in rivers and seas, 
valleys and mountains (in rivulets, lakes and ponds), bestowing 
rain on their worshippers. That those river-gods could also cause 
wind we learn from the above quoted passage of the. Nihongi^, 
where the god of the Northern river is said to have made a 
whirlwind arise in order to subrnerge the calabashes. So the 
three kinds of dragons, to be found in Japan, original Japanese, 
Chinese and Indian, all have one feature in common, i. e. the 
faculty of causing rain ; while the winds belong to the dominion 
of the former two. 

The Shoku Nihongi^ states that in 715 the Emperor Grwammei 
sent messengers to pray for rain to "famous mountains and large 
rivers" {^ ]\\ -}^ )\\), whereupon the rain came down in torrents 
within a few days. It is remarkable that he at the same time 
established religious festivals in the two great Buddhist temples 
of Nara, Kofukuji and Horyuji, and despatched messengers to 
the different Shinto temples with nusa ( ^ ^ , offerings of hemp 
and bark-fibre *). We often observe this dualism in the measures 
taken by the Emperors to stop drought or too much rain, 
especially in later times, when Buddhism became more and more 
powerful 5. 



1 Satow, The Revival of pure Shinto, Ti-ansactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, 
App. Vol. Ill 1, p. 43; Aston, Shinto, p. 9. 

2 Ch. XI, p. 197. 3 Ch. VI, K. T. K. Vol. II, p. 92. 

4 Cf. Aston, Shinto, pp. 213 seqq. 

5 Cf. Sandai jitsuroku, Oh. V, K. T. K. Vol. IV, pp. 87 seq. : "On the fifteenth day 
the Emperor sent messengers to the Seven temples of Famous Shinto gods near the 
capital in order to offer nusa and to pray for rain^. .... On the sixteenth he invited 
priests of all the great Buddhist temples, 60 men, to come to the Palace and read 
there the Bai Hannya kyo (Mahaprajnaparamita sutra) by way of extract; this was 
limited to a space of three days; it is a prayer for sweet rain (in the text three 

Winviihs ic Mrrit + an • if +liia ic rifrlif +Vni mpcinincr mUHf Via f.ViQf. tVlla flllf.rci in nrcivinof fnr 



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The Shinto gods who were believed to cause rain were also 
considered to be able to put a stop to it, and we often read 
of prayers offered to them to that effect. In times of drought 
mostly messengers were despatched to the different rain-bestowing 
gods within the so-called goUnai ( S. ^ ^ )> the five provinces 
adjoining the capital, i. e. Taraashiro, Yaraato, Kawachi, Izumi 
and Settsu '. The most powerful in this respect was apparently 
the river-god of JSlibu kawakami (;^ ^ jll Jt f^) mentioned 
in the Engishiki'^ among the ten temples of Yoshino district, 
Yamato province. Not only hemp and fibre were offered to this 
river-god, but occasionally also a black horse in order to cause 
him to give rain ^ His dragon-shape is evident from the term 
^'■Rain-master'' ( ^ 0fR > U-shi, by which he was often designated 
in, imitation of the Chinese dragons *, and which appears to have 



H is a misprint for Q ). On the eighteenth day it thundei'ed, and a httle rain 
slightly moistened (the earth). On the nineteenth there was an earthquake, and the 
slight rain forthwith stopped. The reading cf the siitra was prolonged for two days 
more, because a good, moistening rain had not yet been obtained". 

1 Shoku Nihongi, Ch. VII, XI, XXXVII, K. T. K. Vol. II, pp. 103, 187, 676. 

2 Ch. IX, K.T. K. Vol. XIII, p. 291. 

3 Shoku Nihongi, Ch. XXXIX, p. 739 : ^ ^ ]^ j^ ^J^ ^ )]\ Jl |$ „ 
Wf M ^ o ■^^''°" ^0^^' ^^' ^^^^' ^- T- K- Vol. Ill, p. 82. ^ngishiki, Ch. Ill, 
K.T.K. Vol. XIII, p. 144. 

4 Cf. above. Book I, Ch. V, pp. 109 sqq. We find this term passim in the S/ioAw iViAow 
koki (K. T. K. Vol. Ill, p. 281 : p||^ |i|j 'fjl ^ ^ PI 7M , "The Rain-Masters 
suddenly ran on the four seas" (i.e. it rained over the whole country; p. 287: ^& 

^jEm.^Tfi-^}^\±M^^n^iEM.^±^ "t^^ higher 

order of the principal fifth rank was conferred upon the Rain-Master, god of Nibu 
kawakami, who (hitherto) possessed the lower order of the principal fifth rank"; p. 
300 (then he was raised to the lower order of the secondary fourth rank); p. 313 
(prayers for rain having been made at the temple of the same Rain-Master by an 
Imperial envoy, that very evening the rain came down); p. 397 (nusa were offered to 
him in order to cause him to stop the continuous rains) ; p. 402 : "Nusa and silk were 
offered to the upper and lower shrines of Matsuo and Kamo, and to the shrines of 
Kibune and the Rain-Master, in order to pray for a sweet rain"; in the Sandai 
jitsuroku, K.T.K. Vol. IV, p. 41: nusa and a blue (i.e. dark) horse offered lo the Rain - 
Master of Nibu kawakami, in order to stop, the continuous rains : p. 395 : nusa offered 
with the same purpose; p. 465: the same god raised to the principal third rank, and 
a black horse offered to him in order to cause rain ; etc. ; and in the Nihon isshi, 
K.T.K. Vol. VI, Ch. XVIII, p. 184: nusa offered to the Rain-Master, to stop the rain; 
Ch. XXVI, p. 270: elevated to the secondary fifth rank and prayed to for rain; Ch.. 
XXVJI, p. 285: a black horse offered to him and prayed to for rain; p. 286: nusa 
offered; Ch. XXXI, p. 334: nusa and a horse offered, for stopping the continuous rains; 
p. 337: nusa offered and prayers made for rain; Ch. XXXVII, p. 412: nusa and a 
white horse from the Imperial stables offered in order to cause the Rain-Master to stop 
the abundant rains. 

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156 

been given to him as a special title. He was also prayed to for 
stopping wind an rain '. 

The Kimpisho^ states that Court nobles had the care of the 
offerings sent by the Enaperor to the Nibu and Kibune shrines 
in order to pray for rain or to cause the dragon-gods to put a 
stop to continuous rains. These nobles, however, did not go there 
themselves, but despatched officials of the Jingikwan, or, on 
special occasions. Court officials (kurabito). There were sixteeii 
Shinto shrines the gods, of which were worshipped for the purpose 
of causing or stopping rain, namely the seven "Upper shrines" 
(those of Ise, Iwashimizu, Kamo, Matsuo, Hirano, Inari and 
Kasuga), and further those of Oharano, Yamato Ishigami, Hirose 
and Tatsuta, Sumiyoshi, Nibu and Kibune ^ 

Finally, in Buzen province, Kamige district, there was in the- 
sorcalled Tatsu no fuclii (f|(7^'^), or "Dragon's Pool", an 
originally Japanese dragon, who was famous, for bestowing rain 
upon those who prayed to him *. And in Echizen province, Sakai 
district, there is still nowadays a Shinto shrine of KokuryU Myojin., 
M ^i 59 )ji$> "^^6 Black Dragon-god", on the bank of the 
Kuzuryu-gawa, ;/L ^ ^| )\\ > or "River of the Mne-headed Dragon", 
also called Kokuryu-gawa, or "Black Dragon's Flood". If one 
prays there for rain, his prayer is certainly heard^. 



§ 2. Horses offered to Shinto gods- 

With rega,rd to the horses offered to the rain-gods, we may 
refer to another passage *', where we read that in 838 white horses 
were offered twice to the god of Kibune (^ ^j|^), on Mount 
Kurama near Kyoto, another famous rain-god, and to the afore- 



1 Shoku Nlhon koki, Ch. VlII, p. 247. 

2 ^J %j^ »H?' ^ work -written in the Kenr}'aku era (1211 — 1212) by the Enaperor 
"JuNTOKU; Gunsho ruiju, Vol. XVI, nr 467, Ch. "^ , pp. 1072 seq. See below, Ch. V, § 4. 

4 Buzenkokushi, -S ■|m ^ ^, written in 1865 by Takada Yoshiohika, "^ 
eg :±^^;Ch. IV,J^,p. 31. 

5 Nihon shukyo fuzokushi (written in 1902, see below, Ch. Ill, § 12), p. 325. 

6 Shoku Nihon koki, Ch. VIF, p. 247; "Nusa, silk and a white horse were offered 

A„ 4.i.~ J „f tr:! — A *« 4.1. „ T>„:„ TVT — i«.. ™«j «f xt;u., ^^ 1 x. +u:„ j 



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said "Rain-Mastev", in order to stop the rain. The offering to 
the latter of a blue (i.e. dark coloured) horse in 859 (for stop- 
ping rain) and of a white one in 875 and 883 is stated in the 
Sandai jitsuroku ', while black horses were twice offered to the 
same god in 877, as well as in 880 and 885?. It is no wonder 
that the Emperor repeatedly elevated this mighty river^god to 
a higher rank ^ The Kiinpisho *, a work written in the Kenryaku 
era (1211 — 1212) bij the Emperor Juntoku, says that, when at that 
time officials of the Jingikwan, the Department of Shinto Rites 
and Ceremonies, went to the shrines of Nibu (the *Rain-Master") 
and Kibune, in order to pray for rain or to beseech these gods 
to stop the too ab,undant rains, they took a sacred horse with 
them from the Imperial stables, and when Kurabito (kurodo, or 
kurando, |^ ^ , officials of the kurodo-dokoro, which had the 
care of the Imperial decrees) went to those temples, one of th& 
Emperor's ordinary horses or one taken from the stables of the 
retired Emperor was deemed sufficient. In case of stopping rain 
a red horse, and when rain was required a white horse was 
offered, for the colour red was avoided in praying for rain. The 



i Ch. Ill, p. 41. "From the iifth month to the present month (the eighth) it had 
i-ained continuously, so that messengers were sent to the shrine of the Rain-Master of 
Nibu kawaltami in Yamato province, .and nusa and a blue horse! etc. were presented 
to him; this was done in order to supplicate " him to stop the rain". Ch. XXVII, p. 
416: nusa and a white, horse offered to the god of Nibu kawakami to cause him to 
stop the rain. Chj XLIV, p. 606; nusa offered to the shrines of Ise, Kamo, Matsuo, 
Inari, Kibune and Nibu kawakami, and to- the last also a white horse, on account of 
the heavy rains and the bad omens. 

2 Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XXXI, p. 464 : a black horse offered to the god of Nibu 
kawakami, and nusa to the god of Kibune, with prayers for rain. Ch. XXXI, p. 465: 
the god of Nibu kawakami raised to the principal third rank, nusa and a black horse 
offered to him, and prayers said for rain. Ch. XXXVII, p. 543: nusa offered to the 
gods of eleven Shinto shi'ines (Kamo and othei's) and prayers said for rain ; but a black 
horse added to the offerings sent to the temple of Nibu kawakami. Ch. XLVIII, p. 
666 : nusa and a black horse offered to the Rain-Master-god of Nibu kawakami. 

3 Comp. the above notes. Shoku Nihon koki, Ch. IX, pp. 287, 300 etc. 

4 :^^^:i|^■, Gunsho ruijU, Vol. XVI, nr 467, Ch. "fC , pp. 1072 seq : |^ f^ 

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EngishiU \ on the contrary, states that in the Engi era (901 — 922) 
a white horse was offered in the former case, a black one in 
the latter. This may have varied at different times; red (or 
blue, i. er dark coloured), black and white were at any rate the 
colours, of which red was limited to cases in which the stopping 
of rain was prayed for. 

§ .3 Buddhism wins field- 

Especially in the last of the six oldest Japanese Standard 
Histories (the Rikkokushi, :^H^), i- e. the Sandai jitsuroku 
(written in 910), we see the Buddhist priests, gradually prevailing 
in their struggle against the Shintoists. Whereas formerly in times 
of drought there was only one way of averting this evil, namely 
praying and offering to the Shinto rain-gods, and among them 
especially to the dragon-shaped river-gods, now the Emperors 
began to employ Buddhistic assistance at the same time, or 
sometimes even without addressing the Shinto deities. 

It is most characteristic ■ that in the, seventh month of 877, 
when such a heavy drought prevailed that the Prime Minister, 
Fujiwara no Mototsune, tendered his resignation because he con- 
sidered it a sign of his bad government, nothing was said about 
prayers or offerings to Shinto gods ^. The Emperor did not accept 
Mototsune's resignation, and ascribed the drought to a curse of 
the Empress Jingo's mausoleum at' Tatanami (;|§ ^|J) in Tamato, 
whither he accordingly sent messengers to investigate the matter. 
They reported that a stag had been cut to pieces and eaten, 
and that peasants had cut down three hundred and thirty two 
trees near the mausolea; the guilty oflBcials were punished,- but 
the drought continued. Then one hundred Buddhist priests were 
summoned' to the Shishinden (a building of the Palace) and there 
read the Daihannya (Mahaprajnaparamita) sutra for three days; 
this was the sutra to be read in autumn, but at the same time 
used in causing rain. After two days a thunderstorm arose, and 
clouds covered the sky. A slight rain fell, but this was not suffi- 
cient, so that the sutra reading was prolonged for two days and^ 
the Ni-o ("fl! ^) sutra was read. The next day even the water 
of the pond in the Shinsenen, or Sacred Spring Park (see below, 
§ 4), was required to drain the rice-fields; in one day and one 
night the pond was quite dry. Then the Emperor sent messengers 



1 Quoted ibidem. 



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to Jingo's mausoleum, in order to apologize for the cutting of 
the trees and the killing of the stag. Sutras were read there for 
five days without any result whatever, and some of the bonzes 
were so ashamed that they stole away. One of them, however, 
the well-known high-priest Dento Daihoshi ', gave the advice to 
have one of his pupils try his magic art of making rain by means 
of tantras. Then the latter was summoned, and was clever enough 
to take a limit of five days. The next day an earthquake and 
a thund^storm announced the good result of the tantras, the 
rain poured down for three days, and ther^e was great joy in the 
Palace and in the land. 

Two years before, ia 875, messengers were despatched to fifteen 
great Buddhist temples, and the Daihannya sutra was read in 
order to obtain rain I Sixty Buddhist priests read the same holy 
text in the Taikyokuden (a building of the Palace), and fifteen 
others recited the Daiunrin seiu kyo (^ ^ f^ |p| pg ^, "Great 
, Cloud- wheel Rainpraying stitra") ' in the above mentioned park 
Shinsenen. High oflBcials went to the Imperial mausoleum at 
Fukakusa and, apologizing for the evil that might have been 
done, they prayed for benevolence, for the Jingikwan, the 
Department of Shinto rites and ceremonies, had declared the 
drought to be a curse on account of the cutting of trees at this 
mausoleum. 

§ ^. The Sacred Spring Park. 

The Shinsenen ( jjj^ ^ ^; "Sacred Spring Park") was an impor- 
tant place in the days of old, and it is mentioned innumerable 
times in the ancient annals, from the Nihon koki down to the 
Fuso ryakki. The ways in which it is spoken of, however, are 
quite diflferent. In the older works the Emperors are said to have 
visited it many times for their amusement, to see westlers dtc, 
but in the Sandai jitsuroku it appears to have become the place 
where Buddhist services were held in order to obtain rain. Besides 
in 875 we read about such a ceremony in 877, when Dento 
Daih5shi, the same who a month later recommended his pupil 
for making rain by means of tantras *, went to the park at the 
head of twenty one other Buddhist priests, and, practising the 
method of reciting the "Sutra of the golden- winged bird-king" 



•1 -jS jl^ 3^ ^ iSffi; <=*"• ^"*° ryakki, Ch. XX, K.T.K. Vol. VI, p. 598. 

2 Ch. XXVIl, pp. 414 seq. 

3 This is the Mahamegha sutra, treated in the Introduction, § 4, pp. 25 sqq. 

4 See above, § 3, this page. 

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160 

(no doubt the Gariida, to frighten the dragon and make him 
ascend)', prayed for rain. The next day another high-priest, the 
Risshi Enju, and a high member of the Board of Ceremonies, 
Tachibana Ason, were sent by the Emperor to the Daibutsu of 
Todaiji at Nara, in order to" pray there for three days; yet it 
was all in vain. Then the river-god of Kako '^ in Hitachi province 
and Karo ^ in Inaba were elevated to higher ranks, and messengers 
were sent to all the Imperial mausolea with the announcement 
that the nengo (name of the era) was changed (from Jogwan to 
Gwangyo, a means of averting the continuation of the evil, i. e. 
the drought) *. Then followed what is told above (§ 3). It is 
interesting to observe how the assistance of the ancient Shinto 
deities was not called in before the Buddhist priests had proved 
to be unable to cause rain, and even then no prayers or offerings 
took place, as formerly, but the gods were only elevated to higher 
ranks, and the change of the nengo was only announced to the 
Imperial ancestors. 

It was the pond in the park which made the Buddhists choose 
it for their rain-prayers. We read in the Sandai jitsuroku ^ that 
on the 23th day of the 6th month of 875 A. D., when all the 
performances of the Buddhist priests, related above ", had only 
caused a slight, insufficient rain to fall, an old man said: "In 
the pond of the Sacred Spring Park there is a divine dragon. 
Formerly in times of heavy drought the water of this pond was 
let out and the pond was dried up; bells and drums were beaten, 
and when (the dragon) answered (the request), it thundered and 
rained. This is sure to have a good result". Then the Emperor 
despatched high officials to the park and had the water let out. 



\ See above, Introd., p. 7; cf. Book I, 'Ch. V, § 3, p. 119. 

^ ^rT 1^ jjift ( ^rT ji ("'"'^ers") is in China the Hwang-ho and the Yang-tsze 

kiang). 3 •^ ^^• 

4 Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XXXI, p. 465. 

5 Ch. XXVII, p. 415: -^ ^ ^ B . %^MM1k^^%^M. =W 

^'^^mmA. '^m^mmm. mm^n.mm 



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Other oflficials, the Court musicians, took place on a dragon-boat 
( bI :^ » ^ ^oai with a dragon-shaped prow, see above^ Book I, 
pp. 83 sqq.) and beat bells and drums, sang and danced, 
so that their voices " made heaven shake". The next day it 
thundered and rained a little, but after a short while the sky 
became clear again, and outside of Kyoto the dust was only 
moistened a little. On the 25th the result was the same, and 
on the 26th the officials, who incessantly, night and day, had 
been making music on the pond, were praised by the Emperor 
and were allowed to stop the work. 

From this passage we learn that the dragon of the pond in 
the Sacred Spring Park was originally not an Indian Naga, 
introduced by the Buddhists, but a Chinese, perhaps a Japanese, 
dragon, which formerly used to be forced to ascend and to make 
rain by depriving him of his element, the water, or by stirring 
him up by a terrible noise, according to the Chinese methods 
described above '. The Buddhist priests identified this dragon 
with an Indian Naga-king, whom they caused to give rain by 
reading sutras. In the seventh century, however, the Chinese 
ideas prevailed at the Japanese Court, and the Emperor himself 
sometimes proceeded to a river, and, kneeling and bowing to the 
four quarters of the compass, prayed to Heaven in the Chinese way. 
Then it shundered and continuous rains made the crops thrive ^. 

In 875 the old Chinese methods of causing rain apparently 
had sunk into oblivion at the Japanese Court, but were tried 
again when the old man turned the attention of the Courtiers 
to them, because the siitras failed to have any effect. 

Like the Shinto dragon-gods the dragon in the Sacred Spring 
Park was believed not only to be able to make rain, but also 
to posses the faculty of stopping it, if it was pouring too abundantly. 
Thus in 880 a Buddhist priest recited the Kioancho ( ^ XM ' 
washing the head, baptism) sutra there for three days, in order 
to stop the rain '. 

Also the Nihon hiryahu^ contains several passages relating to 
Buddhist rain-prayers in the park. In 972 the so-called "Law 
(method) of the Rain-praying-sutra" {Seiuhyo-ho, |r M ^S ^' 
i. e. the doctrine of the Mahamegha sutra, cf. above, pp. 25 sqq.) 

\ Book I, Ch. V, § 3, p. HO; cf. the Chinese legend concerning the Emperor Shi 
Hwang, whose soldiers made a terrible noise to frighten the dragon god (Book I, Ch. 
VI, § 7, p. 125). 

2 Fuso ryakki, Ch. IV, K. T. K. Vol. VI, p. 508, the Emperor Kwogyoku in 642. 

3 Sandai jitsuroku, Ch. XXXVII, p. 541. 

^ H ;i^ IE =!■ ' w""®" ^^^^ ^^^^' ^- '^' ^- ^°^- ^■ 

Verh. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensoh. (Afd. Letterk.) N. R. Dl. XIII, N" 2. 11 

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162 

was practised there for nine days with a splendid result, as well 
as in 982, 985 and 1018 '. 

When leaving" the Annals and turning to the legendary works, 
we obtain the following information. The Kon^aku monogatari^ 
relates how in a time of heavy drought the Emperor ordered 
KoBo Daishi (774 — 835) to cause rain, and the saint for seven 
days practised the Doctrine of the Rain-praying-sutra in the 
Sacred Spring Park. Then there appeared on the right side of 
the altar a snake ^ five shaku long, carrying a little gold-coloured 
snake, about five sun in length, and after a while both disappeared 
into the pond. Only four of the twenty priests who were sitting 
in a row could see the apparition. One of these elected ones 
asked what it meant, whereupon another answered that the 
appearance of the Indian dragon-king Zennyo, ^ ^H , who lived 
in India in the Anavatapta * pond and was now living in the 
pond of the Sacred Spring Park, was a sign that the doctrine 
would be successful. And really, a dark cloud rose up in the 
Northwest, and soon the rain was pouring down. Thenceforth, 
whenever drought prevailed, the same doctrine was practised in 
the park, and never in vain. 

The Kojidan ^ states that this event occurred in the year 824. 
According to this work the Buddhist priest Shubin (^^) 
requested the Emperor to be allowed to practise the Rain-prayer- 
doctrine himself instead of Kukai (Kobo Daishi), as he was as much 
experienced in such matters as the latter. This was granted, 
and he succeeded in causing thunder and • rain in Kyoto, but 
not beyond Higashi yama. Then Kobo Daishi was ordered to 
make it rain over the whole of the country, which he promised 
to do within seven days. This limit, however, expired, and the 
sky was still cloudless as before. The saint, absorbed in medi- 
tation (samadhi), arrived at the conclusion that Shubin, his rival, 

1 Second Part, Ch. VI, p. 940; Ch. Vll, p. 975; Ch. VIII, p. 986; Ch. XIII, p. 1115; 
at the same time, in 1018, the "Five Dragons Festival", ^ ^g ^^ , took plate. 

2 K. T. K. Vol. XVI, Ch. XIV, nr 41, pp. 812 sq. 

3 Here we find the snake form of the Naga; in the Sandai jiisuroku and the 
Kojidan the god is called a dragon. 

4 Kffl" i^ ^^ ^ , translated into i^ i^ . Buddhist works mention a female 

Naga, called ^ -ir ■ Zennyo, "Virtuous Woman"; hut the same Naga is represented 
as a man with a dragon's tail, standing on the clouds, in a picture of the ninth century, 
in Kongobu-ji on Koya-san {Kokkwa, Nr 227, PI. I). Two other pictures representing 
this Naga, also on Koya-san, have not yet been described. Of. Petrucci, Les documents 
de la Mission Chavannes, Revue de I'Universit^ de Bruxelles, Avril — Mai 1910, pp, 495sq. 



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had caught all the dragons and shut them up in a water-pitcher 
by means of magical formulae (tantras). This wa6 the reason 
why his (Kobe's) own prayers were in vain. He decided, however, 
not to abandon his hope, and continued to recite the stitra. 
During the night of the second day he said : "In this pond is a 
dragon, called Zennyo, who pities mankind. To him I have prayed, 
and now I see him rising out of the midst of the lake, gold- 
coloured, about eight sun long, seated on the head of another 
dragon, eight shaku in length". This was reported to the Emperor, 
who soon sent a messenger with offerings for the Dragon-King. 
And when the seven days of the new vow had expired, a heavy 
thunderstorm broke forth and a torrent of rain came down all 
over the country, so that the water of the pond overflowed the 
altar. As a reward for having saved the people from starvation, 
Kukai was elevated to the rank of Shosozu, bishop'. 

The Taiheiki^ gives another version of the same legend. After 
having stated that the park was laid out in the time of the 
Emperor Kwammu (781 — 806) in imitation of the Ling yiu 
(^SI)' ^^6 park of the Chinese Emperor Wen, of the Cheu 
dynasty, the author informs us that the same Japanese monarch 
(who built the Palace at Kyoto, the new capital which he 
founded and made his residence in 794), had two Buddhist 
monasteries built, on the East and West sides of the Sujaku 
gate, called Toji and Seiji, "the Eastern and the Western 
Monastery". The former was under the direction of Kobo Daishi, 
who had to guard the Emperor's rank, the latter stood under 
Bishop Shubin, who had to protect His Majesty's body. After 
Kobo Daishi's return from China, Shubin, who had been the 
great man during Kobo's absence, was cast into the shade by 
his rival. The Emperor, who had been in great admiration for 
Shubin's miraculous magic power, now considered Kobo his 
superior. This was more than the ambitious Shubin could bear; 
he fostered a deep hatred against his sovereign as well as against 
his rival, and in order to revenge himself on the former he 
caught all the dragon-gods of the inner and outer seas by means 
of the power of his tantras, and shut them up in a water-pitcher. 
In this way he caused the terrible drought about which we read 
in the Konjahu monogatari and Kojidan ; it lasted fully three 
months and made the people suflPer immensely. Then Kobo Daishi 
reported to the Emperor that there- was only one dragon, a 



1 The same legend is to be found in the Genko Shakusho, Ch. I, K. T. K. Vol. 
XIV, p. 651. 2 Ch. XII, pp. 11 seq^. 

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Bodhisattva of higher rank than Shubin, namely the -Dragon- 
king Zennyo of the Anavatapta pond ' in Northern India, who 
was not in Shubin's power. Immediately a pond was dug before 
the Palace and filled with pure water, whereupon Kobo invited 
the Dragon-king to come and live there. And behold, a gold- 
coloured dragon,, eight sun long, appeared, seated on the head 
of a snake, more than nine shaku in length, and entered the 
pond. When Kobo had reported this lucky news, the Emperor 
sent a messenger wich all kinds of offerings in order to worship 
the Dragon-king. The result was marvellous, for soon it rained 
for three days all over the Empire. Since that day the Shingon 
sect flourished, more and more, and Kobo Daishi was highly 
revered by high and low. In vain Shubin worshipped Gundari® 
and the Yakshas, to destroy his enemy, for as soon as Kobo heard 
this, he began to worship Dai Itoku Myo-o ^, and there was a 
violent struggle in the air between these two parties. "In order 
to make Shubin careless, Kobo caused the rumour of his' own 
death to be spread, which created great sorrow among all classes 
of the people, but great joy in his enemy's heart. As Kobo had 
expected, Shubin broke down his altar and stopped worshipping 
the demons, but at the same moment Kobo's power struck him 
and he fell dead on the floor. His monastery soon decayed and 
disappeared, and Toji's glory increased yearly. Kobo made a 
dragon of so-called cJiigaya (Imperata arundinacea, a kind of 
reed) and placed it upon an altar *. Then he promised to the 
selected crowd which had assembled, that he would cause the 
real dragon to stay in the park and protect the country by his 
doctrine, while the Dragon-king of reed would become a big 
dragon and go to the Anavatapta pond in India. According to 
another tradition the reed dragon ascended to the sky and flew 
away in an eastern direction, but stopped in Owari province, at 
Atsuta's famous Shinto shrine, a lucky foreboding of the spreading 
of Buddha's Law to the East, Kobo said: ""When this Dragon- 
king (i, e, the real one) goes to another country, the pond wiU 
dry up, the land will be waste and th& world will be in poverty.. 
Then my priests (the Shingon priests) must pray to the Dragon- 
king to stay, and thus save the country". 

So we know that the Buddhist priests, ordered by the different 



^ ^-^^i^- 2 ^ ^ T^lJ , King of the Yakshas. 

^ ~hi ^i ^^ 'iS i ' i'^^"*''fi^'l ■with Yamantaka, a manifestation of Manjufri as 



"Destroyer of Yama", 



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Emperors to pray in the park for rain or for stopping rain, 
always belonged to the Shingon sect. 

The Kojidan' relates how in 1016 Bishop Shinkaku ('^'^) 
prayed for rain in the park and had a splendid success within 
a few hours, after a very long and heavy drought. The Naidaijin, 
one of the Ministers, had sent him a message to warn him that 
he would be derided by the world if he failed, but the bishop 
answered that it was not for himself, but for the people's sake 
that he would try. And behold, on the hour of the sheep dark 
clouds arose, a heavy thunderstorm burst forth and the rain fell 
down in torrents. 

In the Gempei seisuiki^ we read that in 1179 the "Secret 
Doctrine of the Rain- prayer- sutra" was practised in vain in the 
Sacred Spring Park, nor had the prayers of other powerful priests 
any effect, till at last a secret tune, played on a biwa at the 
shrine of Sumiyoshi, caused a continuous and heavy rain to fall 
down. According to the Hyahurensho ^, the same sutra was read 
in the park in the years 1215 and 1224; and the Genko Shakusho'^ 
relates the same thing about the year 1082. 

The Zohu hojidan ^ mentions a two-storied gate on the south- 
side of the park, which was destroyed by the "Dragon of the 
Sacred Spring", who in Fujiwara no Saneyori's time (899 — 970) 
entered this gate in the shape of a beautiful man. He sat down, 
and when he was asked from where he came, he answered that 
he lived in the West and had passed the gate on his way to 
another place. Then he disappeared, and at the same time the 
sky became dark and a terrible thunderstorm arose. Tradition 
said that the Buddhist bishop Genkwa was just reciting the 
Rain-prayer-sutra in the park, when the gate was destroyed. 

The Kimpisho " tells us that in case of drought the Court- 
oflBcials had first of all the task of cleaning the Sacred Spring 
Park. Then they were ordered by the Emperor to go to the 



1 Ch. Ill, K. T. K. Vol. XV, p. 80. 

2 yIB 2S^ ^^ ^^ gfl , "Record of the rise and fall of the Mlnamoto and Taira 
Families", written by an unknown author about 1250; Ch. XVIII, p. 471. 

3 "5" |S *^, written after 1259, Ch. XII and XIII, K. T. K. Vol. XIV, pp. 195 

and 1212. 

4 ^ -& ^M ^k., written before 1346 by the Buddhist priest Shiren, ^j0 ^, 

Ch. X, K.T.K. Vol. XIV, p, 813. 

5 1^ "A" ^ Wk. ' Pi'o^^Wy written at the end of the thirteenth century, Ch. II, 
Gunsho ruijU, nr 487, Vol. XVII, p. 657. 

6 Cf. above, p. 156, note 2; Gunsho ruijU, Vol. XVI, nr 467, Ch. "^ , .p. 1073. 

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park with some servants in order to sprinkle water on the 
stones near the pond (this was, of course, a kind of sympathetic 
magic) and to cry with loud voices the following words: "Give 
rain, o Sea-dragon-king" '. This was the custom in the author's 
time, but not before that age. When this ceremony had no 
success within seven days, other Court-oflBcials took their place. 
When their work was crowned with success, i.e. when it rained, 
they reported this to the Emperor and obtained food and clothes 
as a reward, whereupon they danced in the court-yard or at the 
entrance of the Palace. As to other rites, the Kimpisho mentions 
the praying for rain at the Imperial tombs ^, and the reading 
of sutras in the Taikyokuden, a building of the Palace ^ or in 
the seven great Buddhist temples of Nara (Todaiji, Kofukuji, 
Genkoji, Daianji, Yakushiji, Seidaiji and Horyuji), or in the 
different Shinto temples. In the Buddhist shrines the Seiukyo, 
i. e. the Mahamegha suira ^, in the Shinto sanctuaries the Kongo- 
hannya-kyo, i. e. the Vajra-prajnaparamita ^sutra ^, were recited. 
Sometimes, for instance in the Owa era (961 — 963), the Great 
Bear was worshipped in the Sacred Spring Park, in order to 
obtain rain. 

An interesting legend is told about the Dragon of the Sacred 
Spring Park in the Taiheiki ". Although it has nothing to do 
with rain, we may mention this tale here in connection with 
the other stories concerning the same dragon. It runs as follows. — 
In 1335 the Emperor Godaigo was invited by the Dainagon 
Saionji Kimmune, one of the Pujiwara, to come to his house in 
order to see a new bathroom. This invitation was given with 
the intention to kill His Majesty, who would have stepped upon 
a loose board of the floor and dropped down upon a row of 
swords, put upright with the points upwards. Fortunately the 
Emperor was saved by the dragon of the pond in the park, who 
in the night before he intended to go to the fatal house appeared 
to him in a dream in the shape of a woman, clad in a red 
hakama and light-coloured garments. - She said to him: "Before 
you are tigers and wolves, behind you brown and spotted bears. 
Do not go to-morrow". At his question as to who she was, she 
answered that she had lived for many years in the Sacred Spring 
Park. Then she went away. When the Emperor awoke, he 



1 Apparently the legend concerning the Anavatapta pond was forgotten, otherwise 
they would not have called him a sea-dragon. 

2 Cf. above, p. 158 sq. 3 Cf. above, ibidem. 

4 Cf. above, ibidem, and p. 162. 5 Cf. above, p. 34 (Nanjo, nrs 10 — 12). 



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thought his dream very strange, but, as he had promised to go 
to Saionji's house, he decided to keep his word. On his way 
-thither, however, he went to the park and prayed to the 
Dragon-god. And lo ! all of a sudden the water of the pond was 
disturbed, and the waves violently struck the bank, although 
there was no wind. This agreed so strikingly with his dream, 
that he did not proceed on his way, but meditated as to what 
to do, whereupon Kimishige Chunagon came to warn his Imperial 
Master against Saionji's treacherous intentions, about which he 
had heard that very morning. So Godaigo returned to the Palace, 
and Saionji was banished to Jzumo, which he never reached 
because he was killed on the road. 

The Kimpisho^ states the following: ''In 1211 the OnyosM 
(|^ ^ ^(P, Court diviners) held the festival called Goryusai (^ 

hI^)* ^^® 'Five Dragons Festival', also named 'Amagoi no 
matsurV (^^), or 'Rain-praying festival". For three days the 
onyoshi fasted and kept indoors (i. e. in a temple within the 
park); the Emperor, however, [did not share the festival, for he] 
ate fish and offered no clothes or mirrors. Sutras read in the 
'■Dragon-hole' (ali^j Ryu-hetsu) were also very successful, or 
those read in the Sacred Spring Park, or offerings made to Suiten 
(y?K ^' 'Water-Deva', explained by the commentator as 'Tembu 
no kami', 'God of the Heavenly Department'), when several 
persons read these sutras or made these offerings". 

As to the "Five Dragons Festival"^, we read in the Fuso 
ryahki ^ that this was celebrated in 904, on the eighth day of 
the seventh month, when a heavy drought prevailed. The Emperor 
then ordered the Onyoryo (the Department of Divination) to 
celebrate this festival in Kitayama, a mountain near Kyoto, at a 
place called Junigwatsu kokko. As no Buddhist priests, but the 
onyoshi were the leaders of this ceremony, it was apparently 
not practised in honour of Nagas but of Chinese dragons. 

The author of the Taiheiki^ complains that at his time (about 
1382) the park was in a deplorable condition on account of the 
war, and he supposes that this must be very disagreeable for 
the Dragon-god, who perhaps had left the place because there 



1 L.I., Ch. ~^, p. 1072. 

2 Of. above, p. 162, note 1. 

3 Ch. XXIII, K.T.K. Vol. VI, p. 669: ^ ^ ;fC iHo 'O^ W P# 

4 Gh. XII, p. 13a. 

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168 

was very little water in the pond. As to the Rain-prayer- sutra, 
i. e. the Mahamegha sutra, this was still in his days considered a 
powerful means for obtaining rain. 

Before leaving this subject we may observe that, according to 
the Kokushi daijiien ', the park was repeatedly destroyed and 
restored, but that the pond is still there, and on a small island 
in the midst of.it there are two chapels, one dedicated to Zennyo, 
the Dragon-king, the other to Benten. So this dragon, identified 
with an Indian Naga, has bestowed rain upon Japan for eleven 
hundred years! 

§ 5, The "Dragon-hole" on Mount Murobu. 

The above-mentioned Dragon-hole {Ryu-hetsu, gf ^), where 
sutras were read in order to cause rain, is spoken of in the 
Kojidan ^, where we read the following details. 

The Dragon-hole on Mount Murobu*, in Yamato province, is 
the abode of the Dragon-King Zentatsu ( ^ ^ , Sudatta ? Sudar- 
cana?*), who first lived in the Sarusawa " pond at Nara. In olden 
times, when a harlot had drowned herself in the latter pond, 
the Dragon-King fled to Mount Kasuga, where he lived till the 
corpse of a man of low standing was thrown into his pond. 
Then he fled again and established himself on Mount Murobu, 
where the Buddhist bishop Kenkei observed his religious austerities. 
Another priest, Nittai by name, who for many years cherished 
the wish of seeing and worshipping the Dragon-King's venerable 
shape, entered the hole in order to seek him. The entrance was 
pitchdark, but after having penetrated into the inner part of the 
hole, he arrived at a splendid palace under a blue sky. Through 
an opening of a window-blind (sudare), made of pearls, which 
was moved by the wind, he saw a part of the Hokkekyo, the 
Saddharma Pundarlka sutra, lying on a jewel table. Then he 
heard a voice asking him who he was, and when he mentioned 
his name and the reason of his entering the hole, the Dragon- 
King (for he was the invisible speaker) said: "Here you cannot 



^ H ^ ^. ^ J^, "Great Dictionary of Japanese History" (1908), p. 4338 

S.V. Shinsenen. 2 Ch. V, K.T.K. Vol. XV, p. H9. 

3 ^^UJ. 

■4 Dr Nanjo had the kindness to point out to me, that ^ i^ may be Sudatta, 

but that there is no Dragon-king of this name; Sudargana, however, is found in the 
list of the Naga-rajas. 
K A^ iSS 0/U. 



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see me. Leave this hole and you will meet me at a distance of 
about 3 cho from the entrance". So Nittai left the hole and 
actually beheld the Dragon-king, who arose out of the ground, 
wearing a robe and a cap, and disappeared after having been 
worshipped by the priest. The latter built a Shinto temple on 
the spot and erected an image of the Dragon-king, which was 
stiir there at the author's time (in the beginning of the thirteenth 
century). Sutras were read at this shrine when people prayed 
for rain; and when the Dragon-king lent a willing ear to the 
prayers, a dark cloud hung over the hole. This cloud spread 
over the whole sky and the rain came down. ' 

So tells the Kojidan; and it strikes us at once that a Buddhist 
priest erected a Shinto shrine in honour of the Naga. The legend 
was apparently invented by the Buddhists to convert this dragon- 
hole, which probably was the abode of one of the mountain 
dragons of old Japan mentioned above ^, into a place of Buddhist 
sanctity. They changed the old Shinto cult into a Naga worship, 
without going, however, as far as to replace the Shinto shrine 
with a Buddhist temple. The Ryuketsu-jinja, the "Shinto-shrine of 
the Dragon-hole", was afterwards called the Eyu-o-sha,ox Dragon- 
king's temple, and was famous for the rain bestowing power of 
its dragon-god. ^ 

The same dragon is called Zennyo{^ ^, "The Good Woman", 
comp. the Zennyo, ^ $JJ , in the Sacred Spring Park, identified 
with Anavatapta *), instead of Zentatsu, in the Genko Shakusho ^, 
where the Buddhist priest Ringa ", who died in 1150, is said to 
have been so powerful that, when he prayed for rain, Zennyo, 
the Dragon-king, appeared. The same work states that the Bud- 
dhist priest Keien ' lived for a thousand days as a hermit near 
the Dragon-bole on Mount Murobu. On his way from there to 
another place he crossed a bridge over a river, when suddenly 



mm'KZ±.^mm.^3.mf^mmm%±..mmm 

2 Pp. 135 sqq. 

3 Of. YosHiDA Togo ( ^ ffl ^"ffi-)'® Geographical Lexicon {Dai Nihon chimei 

4 See above, p. 162. 

5 Ch. XI. K.T.K. Vol. XIV, p. 828. 

6 3^^- ' ;^ H' ^^° ^^'^^ 1143—1223. 

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a lady, noble looking and beautifully dressed, came and, without 
showing her face, , politely asked him for the mudra (mystic finger- 
charm) used to become at once a Buddha. At his question as to 
who she was, she answered: "I am the Dragon Zennyo". Then 
he taught her the mudra, whereupon she said: "This is exactly 
the same mudra as that of the sev.en former Buddhas" ; and 
when the priest requested her to show him her face, she replied : 
"My shape is so terrible that no man can look upon it. Yet I 
cannot refuse your wish". Thereupon she rose into the air and 
stretched out the little finger of her right hand. It proved to be 
a claw, more than ten shaku long, which spread a five-coloured 
light. Then she vanished at once. ' 

A dragon of the same name (Zennyo) was said to live in the 
Zennyo ryu-o chi'^ or "Dragon-king Zennyo's pond" near the 
"Chapel of the thirty Gruardian-gods" ' on a mountain-peak in 
Kawachi province, Ishikawa district, called Tomyo-dake or "Lan- 
tern-peak" on account of a Dragon-lantern which was seen 
there *, and in 3, lake on Mount Washio, in the same province, 
Kawachi district (now Naka-Kawachi), near a Shinto temple. On 
both these places he was prayed to for rain with much success ^. 

§ 6. Beborn as a rain-giving dragon. 

In the Kojidan " we read about Bishop Gronkyu, of Ewazan, 
to whom in the midst of a dense cloud a sacred dragon appeared 
together- with the priest Shokyu ', of the Western pagoda ^ on 
Hieizan. This dragon was the "real shape" of Gobyo (f^^) 
Daishi, i. e. Bishop Jie ', which Gonkyu had often prayed to see. 
When he asked why the priest was in the dragon-god's company, 
he was informed that Shokyu would become a relative of this 
god (i. e. a dragon). As soon as Gonkyu awoke, he sent a 
messenger to the Saito monastery in order to inquire after 
Shokyu's health. On hearing that the priest had been ill for 



1 Genko Shakusho, Cb. XII, p. 840. 

3 Sanju banshin do, -— -j- 3^ |jft ^ . 

4 Yuho mei$ho ryaku, ^ ~k i^ fijr |^ , written in 1697 by Ryo-ei, "T ^; 
Ch. IV, p. 59. 

5 Ibidem, Ch. IV, p. 51. 6 Ch. Ill, pp. 69 sq. 
7 #}^. 8 Saito, @g:^. 

9 ^ tt- "At 6tfi ) Jis Daishi, a famous Tendai priest who lived 912 — 985 and 



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more than ten days, he visited the patient and told him about 
the dream. Shokyu shed tears with joy, for now he was sure 
that his prayer to become a relative of Gobyo Daishi would be 
fulfilled. After his death he was buried near the latter's tomb. 
In a time of drought the Daihannya kyo, i. e. the MahaprajM- 
paramim sutra (of. above, p. 34) was recited there in order to 
avert the calamity, when suddenly a little snake appeared on 
the stone floor of the tomb, crept slowly behind Shokyu's grave 
and entered it. A small cloud of smoke arose from the grave 
to the sky, and, spreading gradually, filled the air, till it became 
a big cloud ; then a thunderstorm raged and heavy rains rejoiced 
the thirsty earth. 

A little further ' we read that Bishop Jie, at the time of his 
being abbot {z(xsu, ^ ^) of Hieizan, in somebody's dream was 
said to be a metamorphosis of Utpala, one of the eight Great 
Dragon-kings ^. 

§ 7. Buddhist priests dominating the dragons. 

The Kojidan^ mentions the remarkable answer given by Bishop 
Jokai * to the Emperor when the latter expressed his admiration 
for the priest's power, because it had rained violently for a 
couple of hours after Jokai had been praying for two days. 
"Tour Majesty", said he, " this is not my rain, and I cannot 
accept any reward for it. My rain, however, will arise to-morrow 
from the Northwest and come down. Then you may reward me". 
And actually the next day the clouds came from the Northwest, 
and it rained for three days. 

A master in calling up and dominating the dragon-gods was 
also the Buddhist priest Jokwan'', who in the Engiera(901 — 922) 
freed the country from a terrible drought by causing the dragons 
to move about amidst thunder and rain ". The same bonze 
conquered a poisonous dragon on Hieizan. There was on this 
mountain a rock in the shape of an open dragon's mouth, and 
the monks who lived near by in Saito ', and especially in a 
monastery called Senju-in ^, all died soon. At last is was made 



A Ch. Ill, p. 70. 

2 See above, p. 4, and below, Ch. IV. 3 Ch. Ill, p. 83. 

6 Vji shui monogaiari, ^ '/p t^ M ^ W^' "«'""®" 1213—1218; Ch. II, 
K. T. K. Vol. XII, pp. 31 seq. 

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out that the rock was the cause of their death, and since that 
time it was called the "Poisonous-Dragon-rock" '. Nobody; would 
live there any more, and Saito and Senju-in became quite 
deserted and fell to ruins. Then Jokwan went to the place and 
prayed for seven days and nights before the rock. In the last 
night the sky became cloudy and there was a terrible movement 
in the air, while Hieizan was covered with clouds. After a while, 
however, it cleared up, and behold! the rock had disappeared 
and only some rubbish was left. Thenceforth it was safe to live 
in Saito, and Jokwau's name was kept in grateful memory and 
admiration by the monks of the mountain still in the author's 
days. Apparently the poisonous dragon had left the place in 
consequence of the prayers which were also in times of drought 
so powerful in stirring up the dragons and the clouds ^. 

According to the Euso ryakki^, on the 21th day of the second 
month of 1065 the priests of Hieizan assembled in the Kamo 
temple at Kyoto, where they prayed for rain and recited the 
M-o sutra. Then a little snake appeared and spit out some 
vapour before the sanctuary, whereupon a little rain fell down. 

The Gempei seisuiki * relates that in 1 1 74 such a heavy drought 
prevailed that the rivers dried up and the fields could not be 
cultivated. Then a priest of Hieizan, Choken ^ by name, who 
had the rank of Gronshosozu ", in order to assist the peasants 
wrote a letter to the Dragon-gods and read it aloud, looking up 
to the sky. In this letter he reproved and instructed the dragons, 
at the same time imploring them to make it rain. Heavenly 
men (gods) and dragon-gods, he wrote, ought not to be ashamed 
to remedy a wrong they had done, and therefore they, the 
dragons, had to cause a "sweet rain" ("y"^) to fall and to 
put a stop to this terrible drought. The dragons listened to 
these words and gave continuous rains, so that both Emperor 
and people were filled with admiration for Choken's power and 
with devotion for Buddha's Law. 

§ 8. Dragon-women in ponds- 
The Sanshu kidan ' contains the following legends. In the 



1 Dokuryu no iwa, ^ ^U ^ ^^ . 2 V^i shui monogatari, 1. 1. 

3 Ch. XXIX, K.T.K. Vol. VI, p. 807. 4 Ch. Ill, Teikoku Bunko, Vol. V, 69. 

^ ?^ M ■ ® 1^ ^ f§^ ^ ' "Vice-bishop". 

7 =^. #1 ^ 1^ , written in 1764 by Hotta Bakusui, i^_ FH 3§? •^; Ch. I, 



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neighbourhood of seven ponds in the mountains of Eniima, a 
district of Kaga province, many strange things happened. There 
were people who said that they had heard there the voices of.several 
hundreds of men in the midst of the night, and that they had 
seen these men lighting torches upon the ponds. Anglers had 
seen the water rising without any visible reason, and the more 
they retreated, the higher the water rose, till they at last 
stopped angling and fled home as fast as their legs could carry 
them. When looking back at a distance of one or two cho from 
the ponds, they saw a silver-dragon (^^f|) in the shape of 
a boy {ginryU no warahegata, ^ ^) appearing above the water. 
There was a road between these ponds, from where sometimes 
a huge face dashed forth; and one night it was as if men were 
fighting there. 

In times of drought the people worshipped these ponds and 
there prayed for rain. One day a little girl was found there by 
the inhabitants' of a neighbouring monastery. They took her 
home and educated her, but after twelve years she constantly 
uttered the wish to make a pilgrimage to Ise, and although she 
received the answer that this did not agree with the law of the 
empire (as she was a woman), she persisted in speaking about 
it. At last her foster-fathers gave in, secretly hired a sedan-chair 
and let her go to Ise. She went off gladly, but when she came 
at a lake, she said: "This must be my lake, take me to the 
bank", and when the sedan-chair carriers did so, she alighted, 
adjusted her clothes and said: "I am well acquainted here; you 
can go home". Then with her beautiful garments on she jumped 
into the water and disappeared in the deep. She was a beautiful 
girl, but her face was long (a sign of something unnatural '). 
Although the author does not state it, this was apparently a 
female dragon, temporarily transformed into a girl. 

Another dragon-woman lived in the so-called Kope-pond (Nawa 
ga ike, |^ >!f '/|fe^ ) in Etchti province. This was a pond in the 
mountains, about two ri in diameter. Heavy storms and rains often 
raged in this vicinity, when everywhere around splendid weather 
prevailed. Down to the author's time the dragon-woman was said 
to live in the pond and to cause its never drying up ; and his con- 
temporaries still ascribed to her a great influence on the weather ^ 



1 Bewitching Women are often described as having extraordinarily long faces. Of. 
Sanshu kidan, Ch. I, p. 673, where a gigantic woman with a huge face is supposed 
to be a fox or a tanuki, at any rate the vital spirit ( y^ ) of an old creature. 

2 Ibidem, Ch. V, p. 839. 

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A similar pond is spoken of in the Sanshu kidan kohen '. An 
evil snake {akuja, ^ ^"^ ) was believed to have there her abode 
and to commit all kinds of strange things. When one stood on 
the bank of the pond and looked over the water, such a dreary 
wind was blowing, that most people fled home. If one prayed 
there for rain, his prayer was usually heard. The author was in 
doubt whether a terrible looking woman, who one night appeared 
on a neighbouring bridge to a man returning from a festival in 
.a slightly tipsy condition, was the snake of the pond or a trans- 
formed wind-tanuki ^ She stood on the balustrade of the bridge, 
binding up her hair and laughing loudly with open mouth, so 
that all her black teeth were visible. Her malicious face was 
square and very ugly, and it seemed as if she had but one leg. 
When people approached with torches, she flew away. Another 
time she attacked a man who had also enjoyed a good cup of 
sake and who was on his way home in the dead of night. She 
flung him from the road into the grass and then disappeared, 
but the poor fellow was ill for a whole month. As the water of 
the pond was flowing around the village and under this bridge, 
it is possible, says Hotta, that the WDman was the snake of the 
pond, although her body, which she moved so easily in flying 
away, did not remind one of a dragon-snake (^| i'fe) (which 
always wants a cloud as vehicle). The name of the pond, 
"Shiroshuto (^|| A) ^^ i^e", or "Pond of the White and 
Ugly Person", had perhaps something to do with the transfor- 
mation of the snake into an ugly woman. 

§ 9. stirring up the dragons by throwing iron or filth 
into their ponds. 

If an iron utensil was thrown into the Rope-pond, mentioned 
in § 8, suddenly darkness covered the land and a hurricane 
devastated the ricefields. For this reason the villagers strictly 
forbade other people to approach the pond without a special reason. 
It was said that greedy merchants, who had bought rice, threw 
metal shavings into the pond in order to cause storm and rain, 
which would destroy the crop and thus make the price of the 
rice run up ^. This way of stirring up the dragons by means of 



^ H ^H ^ ^ ^ 1^' ^""^" '" 1'^'^^ ^y ^^^ ®^"^ author; Ch. V, p. 952. 
2- JH ^18, kaze-danuki, cf. my treatise on "The Fox and Badger in Japanese 

Wnlkln-yb" TrancactinTia nf fVio AoiotiV Sn^io+ir nf Tanan Vnl YYYVF Da..+ TTT r. A(\(i 



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iron which they disliked very much was borrowed from China, 
as we have seen above ^; it was practised also at the "Pond of 
the Ugly Woman", mentioned in the Sanshu Udan kohen (above, 
§ 8), where within a day after one had thrown metal shavings 
into the pond certainly a heavy storm arose and the rain came 
down in torrents. 

We may compare with this a passage of the Matsunoya hikhi^, 
where we read that the inhabitants of Tsukui-agata ' (district), 
Sagami province, used to throw horse dung, old sandals and 
other filth into a pond in the neighbouring Toyama, when 
drought prevailed. After having done this they rapidly fled for 
fear of the angry dragon, which certainly arose, causing a terrible 
hurricane and heavy rains. As we have stated above *, the idea 
of causing rain by arousing the dragons' anger is quite Chinese. 

It was certainly also a pond, inhabited by a dragon or a 
snake, which we 'find mentioned on p. 653 of the Sanshu kidan 
(Ch. I). In summer, when the people wanted rain, they went 
thither, cut a mackerel to pieces and threw these into the 
mountain pond, at the same time praying for rain. If they did 
so, their prayer was always heard, and the rain came down at 
once. This seems to be an offering to the dragon, but it might 
be another way of stirring him up by ill-treating one of his 
subjects, the fishes, before his eyes. 

§ 10. A dragon engraved on an incense pot believed to cause rain. 
Fine trees cause clouds to rise and rain to fall. 

The dragon was so much connected with rain, that even an 
incense pot, decorated with a "cloud-dragon", unryu C^fl), 
was supposed to be the reason why it always rained on the 
day of an Inari festival. This pot was preserved among the 
precious objects of a temple, dedicated to the Rice-goddess, but 
was hidden when the suspicion rose that it caused the annoying 
rain on Inari's day ^ This appeared, however, not to be the case, 
for the rain poured down as well after this measure as before. 



1 Book I, Oh. V, § 3, pp. H9 sq., cf. pp. 67 sqq. ^^ 

2 ^ M tf IE' written by Takada Tomokiyo, ^ 09 |S '^, who lived 
1782—1847; Ch. 109, p. 23 (new printed edition, Vol. Ill, p. 411). 

i Pp. 119 sq. 

5 Comp. above, p. 117, where we have read about an old mirror with a dragon- 
shaped handle, used in China as a magical instrument for causing the dragons to give 



rain. 



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as soon as the day arrived, fixed for the dances of children, 
clad in festive dresses in honour of Inari. On the days" devoted 
to Sanno, Suwa and Tada Hachiman the weather was all right, 
but Taari's festival was always spoiled by rain. At last the reason 
was found out. The boards of the stage, on which the dances 
were performed, were made of the wood of some sacred pine 
trees which had belonged to a neighbouring Shinto temple but 
were sold by the villagers at atimeof pecuniary distress. The man 
who bought these trees placed them in the compound of the 
Tnari temple, and as the wood was very strong, it was used in 
building the stage for the sacred dances of this sanctuary. Now 
it struck the people that every time when this timber was used 
(such stages are always temporarily built, and broken down after 
the festival), and the sun shone upon the boards, it began to 
rain. On -account of this fact a messenger was despatched to 
the village whence the wood had come, in order to make inquiries 
as to the trees in question. The man came back with the news 
that the two woodcutters who had_cut those trees had died within 
a few days in a state of madness, as if they were possessed by 
some evil spirit. This confirmed the people's opinion as to these 
pine trees being the cause of the ram at Inari's festival; there- 
fore they took them away and laid them near the worshipping- 
hall (instead of using the wood for building the dancing stage). 
They said: "We have heard that in China, in olden times, under 
the reign of the Emperor Shi Hwan, of the Ts'in dynasty (B. C. 
246 — 210), a pine tree suddenly became a big tree and kept off 
the rain. How is it that these pine trees are causing rain nowadays ? 
It is said that pine trees, being covered with a scaly armour, 
change into dragons when they become old. This may be the 
reason why they always had the miraculous power of calling 
up the clouds and the rain". Thus spoke the people, and they 
all admired the wonderful influence of the pine trees. ' 

§11. The eight Dragon-kings. 

A ShinWQ) temple, dedicated to the eight Dragon-kings, is 
mentioned in the Seki no akikaze ^. The author of this work 



1 Sanshu kidan, Ch. IT, p. 712. 

2 If y ^ M,' ^"**^^" ''y Shirakawa Rakuo, Q j(j |^ ^, "The merry 
old man of Shirakawa" (i. e. Matsudaira Sadangbu, i^ ^^ ^^ -^ , who lived 



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prayed there for rain himself, and his prayer was heard. Then 
he ordered the villagers to repair the shrine. Afterwards, when 
the sluices of heaven were opened too long, he successfully 
prayed to the dragons again, this time for stopping the rain. 

§ 12. A Buddhist dragon's suicide. 

The Nihon shuhyo fuzokushi ^ gives an old tradition explaining 
the names of three Buddhist temples in Shimosa province. In 
730 A. D., when the priest Shaku-myo by order of the Emperor 
prayed for rain, he had a splendid success, and at the same 
time a dragon appeared in the air, who cut his own body into 
three parts and died. The middle part fell in Imba district, 
where the temple called Ryufukuji, f|^^, or "Shrine of the 
Dragon's Belly", is to be found. The tail came down in Katori 
district (also in Shimosa), and caused the shrine RySbiji{^ ^ ^, 
"Temple of the Dragon's Tail") to be built, while the head 
descended on the spot where the aforesaid priest had been praying 
and where still nowadays the name of the ssinGt\ia,ry, - Ryukakuji, 
fl ;^ ^, or "Temple of the Dragon's Horn" (at Sakai village, 
Shimohabu district) reminds the believers of the dragon of old. 

A similar legend is to be found in the Yuho meisho ryakw^, 
where the ShasekisM ^ is quoted. A blue dragon, on having heard 
a priest explaining Buddha's Law, was so full of emotion that 
his body divided itself into three parts. Where the head came 
down, Eyutoji, "the Temple of the Dragon's Head", was built 
(at Nara); in another place in Nara, where the dragon's tail 
fell down, Ryubiji was erected; and his trunk gave origin to 
the name of Ryufukuji, also in the old capital, the only one of 
the three shrines which still existed in Muju's time (i. e. in the 
beginning of the fourteenth century). 

§ 13. Conclusions. 

The passages, referred to in this chapter, . have clearly taught 
us that there were from ancient times in Japan three methods 
of causing or stopping rain. The oldest, probably originally 



1 H^b^^M,'^;^' written in 1902 by Kato Kumaichiro, ^ ^ 
f^- 115, p. 247. 

2 Ch. Ill, p. 54. Of. above p. 170, note 4. 

3 >l\> ;g -^^ , written by the Buddhist priest Muju, fl^ >fc , who died in 1312. 

Verh. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensoh. (Afd. Letterk.) N. K. Dl. XIII, N° 2. 12 

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Japanese, although at the same time Chinese, Way was offering 
white or black or red horses to the dragon-shaped river-gods 
(red horses only for stopping rain). Then followed the Chinese 
custom of the Emperor's praying to the four quarters of Heaven, 
and the, also quite Chinese, idea of stirring up the dragons by 
great noise (as was done by the Court oflBcials in 877 on the 
pond of the Sacred Spring Park). The same thought is found in 
the custom, prevalent in much later times, of throwing iron 
into a dragon's pond. The snake, and therefore also the dragon, 
which is considered to belong to the same species, is believed to 
hate and fear iron very strongly V and many a mighty serpent is 
said to have been killed or driven away by means of a single needle. 
Therefore, when iron is thrown into a pond, inhabited by a 
dragon, this rain-god is sure to get angry and to arise from his 
abode to the sky, which is in a moment covered with clouds. 
Then the dragon gives vent to his anger in a terrible thunder- 
storm accompanied by heavy rains, and the aim of the person 
who threw the iron utensil or the metal shavings into the pond, 
is reached. 

The third way of causing rain, i. e. the Buddhist method, 
started from an opposite point of view. Instead of making the 
dragons rise by annoying them, the Buddhist priests recited 
sutras which made such an impression upon the devout minds 
of the Nagas, that they at once used to assist mankind and to 
liberate the people from the terrible sufferings caused by a long 
drought. Sometimes a sutra was read concerning the Grariida- 
kings, the deadly and much dreaded enemies of the Nagas, 
probably in order to make the latter feel quite dependent on 
Buddha's mighty protection. As Buddhism flourished more and 
more, this kind of rain-prayer soon became by far predominant 
in Japan. In the eighteenth century, however, the Chinese methods 
of stirring up the dragons seem to have revived. Nowadays, when 
in the seventh and eighth months a continuous drought prevails 
and the peasants anxiously look up to the sky, fearing that the 
crops may be , spoiled, they often go about in processions, beating 
drums and making noise, just as the Court-ofiBcials did in the 
year 877 A. D. So deeply rooted are the old Chinese ideas in the 
minds of the people. 



■ i Cf. above, pp. 67 sqq. 



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CHAPTER IV. 

THE INDIAN NAGA IN JAPAN. 

As we have seen above ', the Indian Naga legends served 
already in the time of the JSfihongi, i. e. in the beginning of the 
eighth century, to embellish the old tales concerning the Japanese 
sea-gods. The magnificent palace of Oho-watatsumi no Mikoto 
at the bottom of the sea, and the "Jewel which grants all 
desires" of the Empress Jingo left no doubt about their Indian 
origin. It is no wonder then, that the more Buddha's Law 
flourished in Japan, the more the original Japanese sea and 
river-gods had to give way to the Indian conquerors; therefore 
most of the dragons, mentioned in later works, are Nagas. In 
Chapter III we have seen that the rain-prayers, first offered 
exclusively to different Shinto gods, especially to . the dragon- 
shaped river-deities, from the ninth century were also addressed 
to the Nagas. In times of drought the Buddhist priests were 
more and more looked upon by the Emperors as the most powerful 
rescuers of the country, and large crowds of Shingon priests recited 
their sutras in the Palace as well as at the Dragon pond of the 
Sacred Spring Park, in order to cause the Nagas to make it rain 
all over the country. 

As to the legends, referred to in this Chapter, many of them, 
although relating to Nagas, at the same time have Chinese 
features. This is quite clear, for it was via China that all the 
Indian tales came to Japan. Moreover, many originally Japanese 
dragons, to which Chinese legends were applied, were afterwards 
identified with Nagas, so that a blending of ideas was the result. 

§ 1. The Dragon-kings revere Buddha's Law. 

The Sandai jitsuroku^ (901 A.D.) quotes a written supplication 
of the Lord of Harima, Sugawara no Koreyoshi (812—880), to 



1 Book II, Ch. I, §§ 5 and 6, pp. 139 sqq. 

2Ch. V, p.82: ^xmmm. M^^:^ji^zm. M#1W 

■^ IMl ^ ^ Another text gives 3^ instead of »^ ; then it would, mean: "The 
Drao'on-kings transpose the precious stones of the water regions". 

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the Great Buddha of Nara (in 861), in which we read these 
words: "You give motion to the Darkness and the Light; the 
Dragon-kings retreat into the depths of the water regions, and 
the stars spread all over the sky (i. e. by the influence of yOur 
Law)". In the same supplication ' we find the well-known term 
"Ryujin hachibu", bI 1$ A 'bP? "Dragons, Spirits, (or Dragon- 
gods), and (other beings of) the eight departments", a variant of 
TenryU hachibu, ^^^/\^, or Ryuten hachibu, ^| 3^ /V ^ **• 
The Shasekishu^ (before 1312 A. D.) refers to a sutra entitled 
Shinchikwan-kyo^, where we read: "If one wears only one Buddhist 
sacerdotal robe, he can cross the sea without being annoyed by 
poisonous dragons". So great is the reverence, even of these 
dangerous creatures, for Buddha and his believers. 

§ 2. Dragons appear at the dedication of Buddhist temples. 

The Fuso ryakki^ (about 1150 A. D.) relates how in 596, when 
the Buddhist temple called Hokoji "^ was dedicated at Nara, a 
purple cloud descended from the sky and covered the pagoda as 
well as the Buddha- hall; then the cloud became five-coloured and 
assumed the shape of a dragon or phoenix, or of a man or an 
animal. After a while it vanished in a western direction '. 

A work of much later date, the Yilhd nieisho ryaku^ (1697), 
contains a legend about a Buddhist tenjple named Unrytizan, 
"Cloud-dragon-shrine", in Fuwa district, Mino province. When 
the abbot Ryushu ', who lived 1307 — 1388, was erecting this 
sanctuary, on the day of his starting the work a dragon appeared 
with a pearl in its mouth, a very good sign indeed. For this 
reason he called the mountain Ryuslmho, "Dragon-pearl-peak" 
(fl ^ ^). When the temple was ready, a rain of flowers fell 
from heaven. 



1 P. 85. 

2 Cf. above, Introd., § 1, pp. 4 sq., note 5. 

3 Ch. VI, Jq^, p. 17. See above, p. 177, note 3. 

5 Ch. Ill, K. T. K. Vol. yi, p. 497. 

8 Ch. VI, p.^47. See above, p. 170, note 4. 



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§ 3. Dragons living in ponds or lakes, mostly near Buddhist shrines. 

In the history of Shitenno-ji, the "Monastery of the Four 
Deva-kings", the Buddhist monastery built by Shotoku Taishi 
at Namba (the present Osaka), we read that in the compound 
of one of the buildings of this monastery, called Keiden-in, there 
was a deep pond, named Koryochi ', in which a blue dragon was 
supposed to live ^ 

At a distance of 36 cho from the temple of Hakusan Gongen, 
"The Manifestation of Mount Hakusan" (the Buddhist name of 
the ancient Shinto god of this holy mountain, which lies on the 
frontiers of Mino, Hida, Echizen and Kaga provinces) there was, 
according to the Kojidan^ (1210— 1220 A. D.), a sacred pond 
called Mikuriya no ike, or "August Kitchen Pond". All the 
Dragon-kings were said to assemble there and to prepare their 
food (-jifc^, kuyo, food for offerings). Human beings could not 
approach it, for as soon as they had the audacity of doing so, 
a violent thunderstorm burst forth and killed the culprits *. Yet 
two holy men prayed to Hakusan Gongen to allow them to scoop a 
little water out of this pond. Another priest, who heard this, stayed 
for thirty seven days in the temple, continually repeating the 
same prayer. Then he went to the bank of the pond and earnestly 
practised the kuyo-hd or "food-offering-method". The sky was 
clear and there was no thunder or rain to drive him away. No 
sooner, however, did he scoop a little water into a pitcher, than 
his mind became confused and he felt as if he were dying. Yet 
he was able to return home after having concentrated his thoughts.. 
Sick people who drank this water or rubbed themselves with it, 
were sure to be cured by the power of Buddha's Law. 

The Uji shui monogatari^ (1213 — 1218) contains a tale about 
a young Buddhist priest who lived in the Nara period (719—784) 
and made the following practical joke. On the bank of the Sarusawa 
pond (near the Kofuku temple) he put up a placard, announcing 
that on a special day and hour a dragon would arise from the 



2 Fuso ryakki, Ch. Ill, p. 495. 

3 Cb. V, K.T.K. Vol. XV, p. ii9. 

5 Ch.' XI, K.T.K. Vol. XVII, p. 225. See above, p. 171, note 6. 

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pond. As the passers-by, who read this, all believed it, on the 
indicated day an immense crowd flocked together from Yamato, 
Kawachi, Izumi and Settsu provinces, in order to see the miracle. 
The priest himself, standing at the gate of the Kofuku temple, 
was highly amused by the success of his joke and laughed in 
his sleeve when seeing the crowd on the tiptoe of expectation. 
When the evening fell and no dragon appeared, they all went 
home greatly disappointed. 

The Gempei seisuihi^ (about 1250) tells us how in 717 A.D. the 
Zen priest Shinyu was invited by an unknown goddess, who said 
to have always protected the Emperor and the people, to come 
to the top of Mount Hakusan, in order to worship there her 
"real shape". When he went there, and prayed near the pond 
on the mountain, at the same time uttering incantations {haji) 
and making three sacred mudras (mystic finger- distortions), there 
arose from the midst of the pond an enormous nine-headed, 
serpent-shaped dragon. The priest, however, declared that this 
was not the deity's real shape, and increased the power of his 
mantras (magical formulae), till he at last beheld the august 
form of the Eleven-faced Kwannon. 

When connecting this legend with the passage of the Kojidan, 
referred to above, we may easily conjecture that the sacred pond 
on Mount Hakusan had been from olden times the abode of an 
original Japanese dragon, which gave rise to different Buddhist 
dragon legends in regard to this pond. 

In the Genko Shahusho'^ (before 134:6) we read that the day 
before the priest Jitsuhan's ^ arrival at Daigoji (in Kyoto), Genkaku *, 
the abbot of this monastery, saw in a dream a blue dragon 
arising from the pond in the garden, lifting up his head and 
spouting clear water from its mouth. As he understood the 
meaning of this dream, the abbot the next morning ordered his 
pupils to clean the monastery thoroughly in order to graciously 
receive the venerable pupil, who actually arrived. 

In a much later work, the Sanshu kidan kohen'^ (1779), we find, 
the following particulars about an old woman who could cure 
all kinds of diseases. She was believed to be possessed by the god 
of the neighbouring pond, be it a river-otter {kawa-oso, j^l^^), 
or a dragon-snake (^| i*^). She was a strange, poor old woman, 



1 Ch. XXXIX, p. 742. See above, p. 1.65, note 2. 

2 Ch. XIII, p. 853. 

3 Wiu. 4 ^m. 



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who ate nothing but boiled flour, and refused to accept money 
from her patients. Her fame was so great, that hundreds of 
people came from far and near to obtain some medicine from 
her. And queer medicine it was, for in reality it was nothing at 
all. After a patient had told her his complaint, she went inside, 
put a rush mat upon her head, and after having thus meditated 
for a while she came out of the house and gave an imaginary 
medicine to the patient, saying: "Here are doses for seven days. 
Only if you believe in me and think that you swallow medicine, 
it certainly shall have a good effect. If it has no result within 
seven days, you must come back". If the person followed her 
advice, he actually recovered. It was no wonder that the patients 
flocked together from all quarters. As she was busy from morning 
till night, she distributed charms, with "Namu Amida Butsu" 
or something of the kind written on them and marked with her 
stamp, instead of keeping the longer procedure which she had 
followed in the beginning. If anybody tried to deceive her, she 
immediately discovered this. She was such a wonderful being, 
that there were people who proposed to buy her for seven 
hundred ryo (from the villagers?) and to take her to the capital, 
but this was prevented by the authorities. Her strange food gave 
rise to the suspicion as to her being possessed by a tanuki, 
especially because she used to eat with her face hidden in the 
vessel. Others supposed her to be the mother of Ho-kun ( iSQ ^ , 
Lord Salted Fish[?]), or the wife of the "Great King with the 
straw sandals" ', i. e. one of the M-o '\ But the physician of the 
place was of another opinion. He said to Hotta, the author of 
the Sanshu kidan hohen: "This old woman is assisted by some 
water-demon. I have often heard the villagers tell that she 
'purifies herself ^ as she calls it, twice a day, going into the 
pond and repeatedly diving under water, so that even her 
head is not visible. After having spoken with several patients 
she washes her head with well water, and if her head is not 
wet, she cannot see her patients. She certainly is a creature 
connected with the pond, be it a river-otter or a dragon-snake. 
Some thirty or forty years ago, when her husband was still 
alive, one winter there came a Buddhist nun and lodged in their 
house, who washed clothes and served not only for herself but 
also for others. Thenceforth she stayed there every month for 



1 ^ J^ -^ ^, So-ai tai-o. 

a-fr^. 3;^||7;^Jly. -^"ri wo torn. 

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three or four days, and then went home. At last the man, 
warned by a neighbour, watched her from the upper story of 
the latter's house, and saw her coming out of his house. After 
having walked some distance in human shape, she was trans- 
formed into a line of white vapour ( Q ^ ), flew to the pond, 
and disappeared under the water. The man, very much frightened 
by this sight, went to a neighbouring Buddhist temple and 
requested the priest to recite prayers on his behalf. Moreover, 
he pasted holy Buddhist texts and charms on the walls of his. 
house, in order to avert the evil. This was sufficient, for the 
nun never returned. Within a couple of years, however, the man 
died, and now, after more than thirty years, again such strange 
things happen in the same house. Probably the old woman is 
possessed by the Master (^, nushi) of the pond". So spoke the 
physician, no doubt jealous of the woman on account of her 
medical fame, but at the same time clearly expressing the 
superstitious ideas of the people. The term "dragon-snake" seems 
to indicate the Naga, a serpent identified with a dragon; more- 
over. Buddhism plays a predominant part in this story. 

Before the Restoration a so-called *Dragon-god festival" {Rytijin- 
^^h hI Jli$ ^ ) ^sed to be yearly celebrated by the priest of 
the Gongen shrine at Hakone, the well-known mountain village 
in Sagami province. Three hundred thirty three go (-^) of "red 
rice" {sekihan), in a new wooden rice bowl, were offered to the 
Dragon-god of Hakone lake in the following way. The Buddhist 
priest (now leyasu's shrine belongs to Shinto) went in a boat to 
the middle of the lake and there placed the bowl on the water, 
whereupon the boat went on, neither the priest nor the boatmen 
looking back. Then they heard a sound as of a whirlpool on the 
spot where the offering had been made, and the bowl disappeared 
under the water '. 

§ 4. Reborn as dragons. 

In the Taiheiki"^ (about 1382) we read the following legend. 
The second son of the Emperor Godaigo, Prince Takanaga, also 
called Ichi no Miya, who had been banished to Hata in Tosa 
province, longed so much for his consort, who had remained in 
Kyoto, that he despatched his faithful vassal, Hada no Takebumi, 



1 Nihon shukyo fuzoku shi, Q 2k ^ ^ M, 'f^ ^ (written in 1902), p. 213. 



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to the capital in order to take her to his place bf exile. When 
the latter was on his way to Tosa with the lady, and they were 
waiting for a propitious wind at Ama ga saki in Settsu province, 
there was a samurai, Matsuura Groro by name, who fell in love 
with the beautiful woman, stole her and after having taken her 
on board his ship, set sail at once. No sooner had Takebumi 
perceived this trick, than he called the vessel back with a loud 
voice, but the only answer he received was an outrageous laughter, 
and the vessel pursued its course. Then poor Takebumi, at his 
wit's end, said: "To-day I will become a dragon-god at. the 
bottom of the sea, and check that ship". With these words he 
disemboweled himself and jumped into the sea. There is a well- 
known whirlpool, called Uwa no Naruto, the "Sounding door 
(i.e. eddy) of II wa", between Shikoku and Awaji, which was said 
to be the Eastern Gate of the Dragon-palace. It was there that 
Takebumi's revenge revealed itself in a terrible way, for the vessel, 
caught by the eddy, was turned about for three days, and in 
vain all kinds of precious things, as bows and swords and clothes, 
were flung into the sea as offerings to the Dragon-god. Then 
the crew . arrived at the conclusion that the dragon wanted the, 
woman herself, and Matsuura was about to throw her into the 
furious waves, when a Buddhist priest advised him not to arouse 
the Dragon-god's anger by making to him a human offering 
which he, the dragon, certa,inly disliked, being a pure being and 
a believer in Buddha. It is better, said the priest, to recite 
sutras and pray. So the whole crew prayed to Kwannon, and lo! 
there appeared on the waves Takebumi's spirit, still beckoning 
the vessel as he had done before his death, and preceded by 
several retainers on horseback. Although there often happened 
mysterious things on that spot, this lime it was certainly 
Takebumi's angry soul which caused the calamity. Therefore they 
placed the woman, together with one sailor, in a small boat, 
hoping to satisfy the ghost in this way and to get rid of her 
without causing her death. As soon as they had done this, the 
ship was at once driven out of the whirlpool and disappeared 
in a western direction ; it was never heard of again. As to the 
lady, she safely arrived at an island, where she was kindly 
received by the inhabitants, and where she remained for the rest 
of her life, not daring to run the risk of being stolen again. 

In the Fuse lake in Etchu province, so tells us Hotta, the 
author of the SanshU hidan and the Sanshu hidan kohen \ a 



1 Ch. VII, pp. 988 seqq. 

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disappointed lover was said to have drowned himself, and his 
passion (^ ;^, shunen) was believed to have condensed into 
the form of a white dragon (with other words, his soul, on 
account of its passionate condition at the time of his death, 
was reincarnated in a dragon). This was in Hotta's days 
(eighteenth century) an old tale, and the lake had become ten times 
narrower than before, so that the dragon was no longer supposed 
to live in the water, but in a so-called "dragon-hole" {ryu-hutsu, 
n%'M) iii^<^er the ground, where "dragon-vapours", or "dragon- 
breath", (^^) used to rise as a sign of the- demon's presence 
(these are Chinese ideas). In the beginning of the Anei era 
(1772 — 1780) people who crossed a neighbouring ferry of the 
river which flows into the lake, saw a long, white monster 
swimming from the lake into the river mouth. When it was 
at the bottom of the- stream the water became quite white. 
Sometimes the dragon showed his snow-white back, but not his 
head or tail. Some people, who had seen his head, which seldom 
was visible, said that it was square. After having enjoyed himself 
in swimming along the coast for one day, he disappeared. 
This dragon was said to have lived in that vicinity for a long 
time, and as he was called "the white man" ( ^ J^ , shiro-otoko) , 
HoTTA supposes him to be the same person who once drowned 
himself and took this shape after having been deceived by his 
sweetheart, "the white girl", and was afterwards living under 
the ground because the lake had become too narrow. As he could 
not immerse the land and destroy the fields, he from time to 
time simply made an excursion to the neighbouring sea coast. 
At the same ferry there was a creature called "shiga", which 
stretched itself and checked the boats when the snow began to 
melt; this was also some "breath" (^), probably, says Hotta, 
the same "dragon-breath" which was examined by a wonder- 
fully daring man during the Keicho era (1596 — 1614) according 
to the work entitled " Chugw'aiden''' '. ' / 

According to a modern work, the Nihon sliukyo fuzoku shi 
mentioned above ^, there is jn Kasahara village, Totomi province, 
a pond called "Sakura ga ike", "Cherry-tree Pond". It is the 
abode of a huge dragon, to whom those who have a special wish 
pray on the middle day of higan {^^^, "yonder shore", a 
period of seven days in either equinox; the middle day is the 



■I pb ^l» /^ (time and author?). 
2 P. 117, note 1; p. 204. 



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equinoctial day), at the same time making an oflferiug to him 
consisting of a bucket of hard boiled rice {kowameshi, ^MlK' 
i.e. seMhan, ^^, "red rice", rice boiled with red beans), which 
they cause to float on the water. If they afterwards find the 
biicket empty, this is a sign that the dragon has eaten the rice, 
accepting the offering and hearing the prayer, but if the rice is 
still in the bucket, the prayer will not be fulfilled. This dragon 
is the reincarnation of the Buddhist priest Grenko, vM M' ^ Tendai 
priest of Hieizan, teacher of Honen shonin, ^^, who lived 
1132 — 1212. Genko wished to become a dragon, because his life 
was too short to obtain a sufficient knowledge of Buddha's 
doctrine. One day he heard from one of his disciples that the 
above mentioned pond was an excellent place for a dragon to 
live in. Then he sat down in religious meditation (samadhi), put 
one drop of water in his hand, by means of which he made 
clouds and rain, and flew through the air to the pond. There 
he died in meditation, and when his disciple came and called 
him, an enormous dragon appeared above the water and wept. 
At the pupil's request he assumed his former human shape and 
talked with him for a long time. 

We may make mention here of an old legend, to be found in 
the Gukwansho ', which told that Inoue no Naishinno, the Imperial 
Princess Inoue, daughter of the Emperor Shomu and Consort of 
the Emperor Konin, had become a dragon even before her death. 
She was accused of having practised wu-hu, /£ ^ , a Chinese 
magic art exercised by means of small reptiles and insects ^, in 
order to have her son made Crowmprince. For this reason she 
was imprisoned in a hole in 772 by order of the Prime Minister 
Fujiwara no Momokawa, and three years later both she and her 
son died. According to popular tradition, however, she had turned 
into a dragon even before her death. 

§ 5. Dragon-kings of the sea check the course of vessels in order 
to obtain special Buddhist treasures as oflferings- 

The Fuso ryakki^ (1150) relates the following legend concerning 
the abbot Dosho (^flS)' "^^o ^^^^^ to China in 651 and, 



\ ffl ^^' proljably written by Bishop Ji-EN, |^ jj] , who died in 1225; 

K. T. k!* Vol. XIV, Ch. VII, p. 597. 

2 Cf. De Groot, Religious System of China, Vol. V, Ch. II, pp. 826 seqq. 

3 Ch. IV, K. T. K. Vol. VI, p. 514. 

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when he returned to Japan, obtained from Hflen Tsang, the 
famous pilgrim who went to India in 629 and returned in 645, 
besides a relic of Buddha and sutras a small kettle for preparing 
medicines. Hiien Tsang had brought this kettle with him from 
India and said that it was of the utmost value, because all 
diseases could be cured by means of the medicines cooked in it. 
This proved to be true, for one of Dosho's companions, who fell 
ill before they left China, was cured at once thanks to this 
marvellous utensil. On their way to Japan, in the midst of the 
ocean, the ship suddenly stopped and did not move for seven 
days, while wind and waves were raging around it in a terrible 
way. Then a diviner said: "There is something on board which 
is wanted by the Sea-god. I think it is the kettle". First the 
abbot refused to give up his treasure, and said that there was 
no reason why the Dragon-king should ask for it. But when the 
others, afraid for their lives, urgently begged him to follow the 
diviner's advice, the priest gave in and threw the kettle into 
the sea. Immediately the storm and the waves abated, the ship 
could continue its course, and soon they arrived in Japan. 
Apparently the Dragon-king had actually wanted the offering of 
the sacred kettle. 

The Konjaku monogatari ' describes how a Prime Minister, who 
for his king transported a precious Buddha image across the sea, 
was overtaken by a terrible storm. It was in vain that he threw 
all kinds of precious things into the sea, the Dragon-king appa- 
rently wanted something else. At last the minister understood 
what would appease him, and, praying for his life, he offered 
the pearl from between the eyebrows of the Buddha image. 
The Dragon-king stretched out his hand and took the pearl, 
whereupon the storm calmed down. Although this danger was 
over, the minister, who was convinced that he would be decapi- 
tated when he confessed to his sovereign the loss of the 
pearl, wept bitterly and besought the Dragon to return the 
treasure. Then the Sea-god appeared to him in a dream and 
promised to restore the pearl to him, if he would stop the nine 
tortures which were inflicted upon the dragons. Rejoiced the 
man awok^ and, addressing the sea, answered that he was willing 
to free the dragons from their tortures by copying and offering 
holy Buddhist texts. And when he had done so, the Dragon-king 
kept his promise and returned the pearl ; but it had lost its 
lustre. The Sea-god again appeared to the minister in a dream 



1 Oh. XI, K. T. K. Vol. XVI, pp. 571 seq. 



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and said that the pearl had freed him from the tortures of the 
serpent-road (Itiljl;), but that the Kongo-hannya-kyo (Vajra- 
prajMparamita sUtra, cf. above, p. 31), which he had copied on 
his (the dragon's) behalf, had been still more powerful, as it had 
removed all his sufferings. 

§ 6. The "jewel which grants all desires" (cintamani). 

There lived in Northern India a Buddhist abbot, "Buddha's 
vow" ' by name, who for the sake of mankind sought the "Precious 
pearl which grants all desires "\ He went on board a ship and, 
when in the midst of the sea, by Buddha's power called up the 
Dragon-king. After having bound him by means of mystic for- 
mulae (tantras), he required the pearl from him, whereupon the 
dragon, unable to escape, took the pearl from his head and 
prepared to hand it over to the priest. The latter stretched out 
his left hand, at the same time making the "swotd-sign", a 
mudra (mystic finger-twisting), with his right hand. The Dragon- 
king, however, said: "In former times, when the Dragon-king 
Sagara's daughter gave a precious pearl to ^akyamuni, the latter 
received it with folded hands ; why should a pupil of the Buddha 
accept it with one hand?!' Then the priest folded his hands, 
giving up the mudra, and was about to take the pearl, when 
the Dragon-king, no longer suppressed by the mystic sign, freed 
himself from his bands and ascended to the sky, leaving the 
abbot behind with empty hands, and destroying his boat. The 
only man who was saved was the priest himself. Afterwards the 
same abbot met Bodhidharma *, the patriarch, who came across 
the sea from Southern India (in 526), and together they went 
to Japan*. 

§ 7. The eight Dragon-kings- 

At the time of Bishop Jie ^ being head-abbot (zasu, J^ ^ ) 
of Hieizan, somebody saw in a dream seven of the eight Great 



i ^^, Bussei. 

2 ^ ^ ^ gt , nyo-i hoju, cintamani, comp. above, p. 10. 

3 ^ J^ P^ . Baramon, the "Wall-gazing Brahman". 

4 Fuso r-j/aAAJ, , ;^ ^ (Shomu Tenno), K.T.K. Vol. VI, p. 564. 

5 Jie lived 912—985, cf. above, Book II, Ch. Ill, § 6, p. 170, note 9, 

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Dragon-kings ' crossing a large sea in ships ; on the eighth vessel 
no dragon was to be seen. When the man asked the reason of 
this Dragon-king's absence, he received the answer that the absent 
dragon was at present head-abbot of Hieizan. Evidently Jie was 
a metamorphosis of TJtpala 2, the last of the eight Dragon-kings. 
That a dragon was his "real shape" we have seen above'. 

In the Taiheiki* an exile on Sado island prays to different gods 
to make a ship approach his lonely place. Among these deities 
are: "Grongen (Manifestations), Kongo doji (Vajra kumara), 
Tenryu (Heavenly Dragons), Yasha (Yakshas), and the eight 
Great Dragon-kings" ". Apparently the Nagas last-mentioned were 
considered to be different from the Heavenly Dragons, which 
formed one of the four classes of Nagas, mentioned above ". The 
eight Dragon-kings probably belonged to the second class of 
Nagas, the "Divine Dragons" (fi$f|). 

§ 8. The Dragon-gods of the inner and outer seas. 

The Gempei seisidki ' says that Fujiwara no Yasuyori, banished 
to the island called Kikai ga shima, invoked the compassion of 
"the dragon-gods of the inner and outer seas, and (the other 
beings of) the eight departments"*. The same expression, i. e. 
"dragon-gods of the inner and outer seas", is found in the 
Taiheiki^, where we read how in the year 1333 Nitta Yoshisada, 
Godaigo's faithful general, invoked them. He was marching towards 
Kamakura in order to punish the Shikken Hojo Takatoki, and 
when he arrived at Inamurazaki, a cape between Bnoshima and 
Kamakura, he prayed to the "Dragon-gods of the inner and 
outer seas" to make the sea retreat, that he might be able to 
pass with his troops along the shore and thus easily reach 
Kamakura. They apparently heard his prayer, for that night the 
tide suddenly became so low, that Takatoki's ships could not 
approach the coast, and the arrows of his soldiers could not 
reach Nitta's troops, which marched along the dry shore straight 



1 Cf, above, Introd., § 1, p. 4. 

2 '^ ^S ^S 'H^ ^ 1 Uhachira Ryu-o. 

3 Book II, Cb. Ill, § 6, p. 170. 

4 Ch. II, p. 9a. 

6 Introd., § 3, p. 21. 7 Cb. VII, p. 183. 

^ P^M^i M ft II A oP • ^^- ^^°"'^' ^"'^™''' § ^' pp- ^ ^1-' "°'^ ^• 

9 Ch. X, p. 76. 



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to Kamakura. There they forced their way into the town and 
caused Takatoki to disembowel himself. 



§ 9. Dragon-palaces. 

According to the Genko Shakusho • the Chinese bonze Kien 
Chen ^, when crossing the sea on his way to Japan, was invited 
by a dragon-god to come to his palace and preach for him ^ 
After having complied with the request the priest continued his 
journey and at last (in 762) arrived in Kyushu (then called 
Dazaifu). 

The famous legend concerning Tawara Toda, which is found 
in the Honclio kwaidan koji *, is a blending of Chinese and Indian 
ideas. It runs as follows. In the Hidesato temple, a Shinto shrine 
near the Seta bridge in Omi province, Tawara Toda ^, " Rice 
bag Toda", is worshipped together with Suifushin^, the "God of 
the Water Department", If one takes a centipede (mukade) to 
this shrine, "the animal immediately dies for the following reason. 
In olden times, when Fujiwara no Hidesato (who lived in the 
first half of the tenth century) crossed the bridge, a big serpent 
lay across it. The hero, however, was not at all afraid, and 
calmly stepped over the monster which at once disappeared into 
the water and returned in the shape of a beautiful woman. Two 
thousand years, she said, she had lived under this bridge, bat 
never had she seen sueh a brave man as he. For this reason 
she requested him to destroy her enemy, a huge centipede ', 
which had killed her sons and grandsons. Hidesato promised 
her to do so and, armed with a bow and arrows, awaited the 
centipede on the bridge. There came from the top of Mikami 
yama two enormous lights, as big as the light of two hundred 
torches. These were the centipede's eyes, and Hidesato sent three 
arrows in that direction, whereupon the lights were extinguished 



1 Ch. I, K.T.K. Vol. XIV, p. 642. 

2 ^ iH' , Kansliin. 

3 The te.\t says only : "he went to the Dragon-palace", but the commentatoi' explains 
the reason why he did this. 

^ 2k ifl '15 ^ ife^ ^ ' written in 1711 by the Buddhist priest Kovo, j^ ^; 
Ch. I, nr 16, p. 29. 

7 The centipede is, according to Chinese belief, the snake's deadly enemy, whose 
ability in killing snakes is so great, that it is considered to be an excellent charm 
against them, and used in order to cure diseases caused by Aw-sorcery. Cf. De Groot, 
Religious System of China, Vol. V, pp. 863 seqq. 

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and the monster died. The dragon woman, filled with joy and 
gratitude, took the hero with her to the splendid Dragon-palace, 
where she regaled him with delicious dishes and rewarded him 
with a piece of silk, a sword, an armour, a temple bell and a 
bag {tawara) of rice. She said, that there would always be silk 
left as long as he lived, however much he might cut from it; 
and the bag of rice would never be empty ', As to the temple 
bell, this was the most precious treasure of the Dragon-palace. 

After his return to the world of men Hidesato offered the 
bell to Miidera, the famous Buddhist monastery near Otsu in 
Omi province. One day a priest of Hieizan stole it, but as it did 
not produce any sound but the words : "I wish to go back to 
Miidera", he angrily threw it into the valley, where it was found 
and taken back to Miidera by the monks of this monastery. 
Then a small snake appeared and, stroking the cracks of the 
bell with its tail, made them vanish at once, so that the precious 
object was uninjured as before. 

The TaiheiW^, which also tells Tawara Toda's legend, says that 
the bell was stolen during the war between Miidera and Hieizan, 
when the former monastery was on fire, and that it fell to 
pieces in the valley, but was restored by the snake in one night. 
The snake was probably the dragon woman herself or a messenger 
from the Dragon-palace. In the version of the Taiheiki the serpent 
which Hidesato met on the bridge did not change into a woman, 
but into a strange small man; it was the Dragon-king himself. 
On account of the miraculous rice bag the hero was thenceforth 
called Tawara Toda, "Rice bag Toda" ^ 

The Yuho meisho ryaku (1697)^ mentions a Buddhist priest, 
Nanzo by name, who lived in the Enkyu era (1069 — 1073) and 
who for three years prayed in the temple of Kumano Gongen 



1 In a later version of the legend he got a box of white wood, three or fqur sun 
square, called debebalto, Mj -^ iSS , "Rice supplying box". This was put above the 

ceiling, and if one placed a rice box beneath and pointed at the box above, saying: 
"Rice for to-morrow for so many persons", the next morning 'certainly such a quantity 
of rice was in the box beneath. This miraculous box remained in the family for many 
■generations, and retained the same faculty of giving rice, till it was taken down to be 
cleaned and by mistake was dropped on the stones in the garden. Then it broke, and 
a dead little white snake fell out of it. After that no rice was provided any more, but 
the box and the snake are still preserved by the family. 

2 Ch. XV, p. 5. 

3 In reality the name Tawara was written ffl IS , not ^^ . Tawara, ffl IS , 

is the name of a noble family at Aid (Bungo province), and of a place in Mikawa. 

4 Ch. X, p. 39; see above, p. 170, note 4. This passage is quoted in the Nihon 
shukyo fuzoku shi (1902), p. 247. ; . 



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for a long life, that he might be able to thoroughly study 
Buddha's doctrine. At last he learned by a divine revelation in 
a dream that, if he went to a large, deep lake on Mount Koto- 
wake, on the frontiers of Hitachi and Mutsu provinces, he would 
become a dragon and have a very long life. Highly rejoiced at 
the success of bis prayers he followed the god's advice and took 
up his abode in a hole near the lake, where he spent his days 
in reading sutras and leading a strictly ascetic life. But a female 
dragon, who daily visited him in the shape of a beautiful woman, 
in order to hear him reciting the sutras, fell in love with him 
and invited him to go with her to the dragon-palace at the 
bottom of the lake. He followed her, carrying eight sutra rolls, 
and forthwith lived with the woman in the luxurious mansion, 
where he changed into an eight-headed dragon (on account of 
the eight sutra rolls). His voice is often heard, reciting the sutras 
in the lake. About three ri from this spot there is another lake 
on Nuka ga take, which formerly was inhabited by a nine-headed 
male dragon. This was the above-mentioned dragon-woman's 
husband, and when his place was taken by his eight-headed rival 
(the transformed priest), he went to the other lake and had a 
fight witk the obtruder, but was beaten and killed. For this 
reason no longer a dragon lives in the lake of Nuka ga take. 

Finally, we may refer to a name, foi-merly given to the seastar 
on account of its resemblance to the common spools for winding 
thread on, i. e. Ryugu no itomahi, "spool of the Dragon-palace" '. 

§ 10. Dragons connected with Buddhist priests. 

The Genho Shakusho says that a blue dragon appeared to the 
Tendai priest Eisai (^®), when he in 1168 ascended the 
Chinese T'a^ ( ^ ) niountain, the holy ground of the Tendai sect 2. 

In the same work we read how the Dragon-king Kwo-taku 
( ^ yP ) announced in a dream to the Chinese teacher of Fang- 
Ngau (3^^) and Enji (H ^, ie. the Japanese priest Ben-en, 
^ [H )> that these two pupils were now ready to become priests. 
In consequence of this dream the master sent the latter back 
to Japan, in order that he might preach the Law there ^. 

A third legend found in this work speaks of a daughter of 
the Emperor Sujaku (930—946), who went mad and, clad in 



\ Intel zakko, ^ jg ^ #, ^h. IV, written by Kitamura Shinsetsu, 
^ j^^ ^ 1^ (1783—1856); Hyakka setsurin, ^ ~f^ — ' , P- 520. 
2 Ch. II, K. T. K... Vol. XIV, p. 658. 3 Ch. VII, p. 747. 

Veih. Kon. Atad. v. Wetensch. (AM. Letterk.) N. R. Dl XIII, N". 2. 13 

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scanty garments, visited the cottage of a Buddhist hermit, to 
beseech him to hold incantations on her behalf (i. e. to exorcise 
the evil spirit which was possessing her). The hermit agreed and 
the Princess returned home. In the middle of the night she 
(i. e_ the evil spirit within her) suddenly exclaimed : "Help, help ! 
a dragon is about to cut my throat with a sword, and a boy is 
tying me with a rope!" The ladies in waiting were very mqch 
frightened, but the next morning the patient was cured. A dragon 
and an angel, invoked by the priest's incantations, had driven 
out the evil demon '. 



§ 11. Eight dragons ridden through the sky by a Buddhist deity. 

The Taiheiki'^ describes the vision of a man who passed the 
night praying before the Outer Shrine (Gegu) at Ise. He saw a 
gigantic god with twelve faces and forty two arms, brandishing 
swords and lances and riding eight dragons through the air 
amidst rain and wind, at the head of many others who drove 
in carriages above the clouds. They came from all sides, two or 
three thousand in all, in carriages or on horseback, while a 
brilliant palace, made of precious stones and silver, glittered in 
the sky. 

§ 12. Curses wrought by dragons. 

The Shinchomonshu ^ mentions curses of dragons in the fol- 
lowing passages. "An old tradition said that the guardian-god of 
the Ryumon temple *, a Buddhist sanctuary especially devoted 
to the religious services for the deceased relatives of Mr Mogami 
Gengoro, in Dewa province, was a dragon. One day the stone 
wall of this shrine had fallen to ruins, and a large number of 
men were working there together and had piled up stones, when 
a snake, about six or seven inches long, appeared from under 
the stones, was pursued and killed. Those who had killed her, 
became at once giddy and died on the spot; the others, who 
had only pursued her, were ill for about fifty or sixty days. 
The body of this snake, tradition says, is now in the Keiyo 
temple opposite Asakiisa in Yedo", 



1 Ch. XI, p. 822. 2 Ch. XII, p. 96. 

3 ^Jt ^^ ^ 4M, written by an unknown author about 1700; Zoku Teikoku 
bunko. Vol. XLVII, Ch. IX, p. 126. • 

4 §|| P^ ^k ^ "Dragon-gate temple". 



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No less severe was the curse of another snake-shaped dragon. 
The house of the head, of a village called " Ryd no ike''' or 
"Dragon's pond", iu TJma district, lyo province, was said to be 
built on a pool, inhabited by a dragon in remote ages. A pond 
in the garden, three or four shaku square, which was the 
remainder of this pool, was never dry, not even in times of drought. 
On the 15th day of the 7th month (UUambana, the Bon-festival 
for the dead) of the year 1638 the villagers were dancing (the 
"bon-odori", or "bon-dance") in this garden and making such a 
noise, that it lasted a . while before thej^ heard the master of 
the house crying for help. When they ran into the room, they 
found him standing in the dark, holding an animal by the throat 
which had swallowed one of the arms of his child, about eight 
years old. They cut the beast to pieces, but it became larger and 
larger and at last filled the whole room. It appeared to be an 
enormous serpent, yet it had evidently entered the house through 
a very small opening, only sufiBcient for an earthworm. Upon 
the sand of the pond a trace was visible, only a thin line, 
which showed that the dragon had crept out of the pond in the 
shape of an earthworm. The curse of the monster soon followed 
in a terrible way, for the whole family, more than seventy 
persons, died one after the other, except one blind minstrel who 
escaped this fate and told the story afterwards \ 

A man whose ship knocked against a huge snake, thirteen 
ken long, killed the monster with his sword, and, in order to 
escape its curse, cut its trunk into three pieces, buried these 
together with the head, and had masses said for the animal's 
soul. But this was all in vain, for thirteen years later, on the 
same day of the same month, nay even at the same hour, he 
exclaimed: "1 drink water", was choked and died. The people 
were convinced that his death was caused by the snake. This 
water-serpent was, of course, a dragon '^ 

§ 13. Relics of dragons preserved in Buddhist temples. 

At Noda, in Mikawa province, there is a Buddhist shrine called 
SenryU-in, or "Spring-dragon-temple" (;^f|^), where three 
dragon's scales are preserved. Before the temple was built, its 
founder, Morin Shonin, preached there- every night, and each 

1 Ch. IX, p. 128. The same legend is to be found in the Yamato kwai-i-ki (-^ 
5Kp 'I'S S.fE' written by an unknown author in 1708), Ch. HI, p. 136. 

2 Ch. IV,- p. 48. 

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time a beautiful woman came to listen, till she finally assumed 
her original shape, that of a huge serpent, which jumped into a 
pond near by and disappeared. The priest, who pitied the creature, 
fl.lled up the pond and built a temple over it. Three scales, left 
by the dragon, are preserved in the sanctuary*. 

One of the treasures of another Buddhist shrine, called Ryugenji, 
or "Dragon-spring-temple" (^| yj^ ^), in Hagi village, Mikawa 
province, is the tooth of a "hidden dragon" (;^^|, senryu), 
subdued by the priest Shutei ^. 

§ 14. The "Dragon-flower-meeting". 

In MiuRA Kensuke's Bukkyo iroha jiten ^ s. v, EyUge-e, bI ^ ""^ - 
or "Dragon-flower-meeting", we read that, when Maitreya shall 
"forsake the world and find the truth of Buddha", he shall 
assemble a large crowd and expound his doctrine. All the trees 
on earth shall then assume the shapes of golden dragons and 
shall open their flowers. This is the meaning of the name of the 
religious meeting, mentioned above. 



i Nihon shukyo fuzoku shi (1902), p. 197. 

2 Ibidem. 

3 Vol. II, p. 63; cf. above, Introd., § 3, p. 22, note 1. 



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CHAPTER V. 

CHINESE AND INDIAN DRAGONS IDENTIFIED Oil CONNECTED WITH 
ANCIENT JAPANESE DEITIES. 

The Chinese and Indian ideas on dragons having so thoroughly 
pervaded the Japanese mind as we have seen in the preceding 
chapters, it is not astonishing that many an ancient Shinto god 
was identified or connected with them. Sea-gods or serpent-shaped 
mountain-deities were especially liable to be considered in this 
light, and the thirteenth and later centuries did not hesitate to 
explain old legends of the gods in their own way, making abundant 
use of the words "Dragon-god" and „ Dragon-king". The following 
passages are specimens of this tendency. 

§ 1. Sagara, the Dragon-king, the Yamato no oroohi, Antoku Tenno 
and the Kusanagi sword. 

The GuhwansM"^ (before 1225) tells us that Itsukushima no 
Myojin ( ^ -^ y 5^ jjil^ ) the goddess of the island Itsukushima 
in the Inland sea) was according to tradition a Dragon-king's 
daughter, reborn as Antoku Tenno, the unhappy Emperor 
who was drowned in his seventh year in the battle of Dan- 
no-ura (1185). His grandmother, Nii-no-ama, Kiyomori's widow, 
jumped over board with the little Emperor, when she saw that 
the battle was lost. So the Dragon-king's daughter returned to 
her father. 

Details of this legend are found in the Gempei seisuiki ^ (about 
1250), which relates that this goddess was a grandchild of 
Amaterasu, the Sun-goddess, and the daughter of the Dragon- 
king Sagara \ The same work gives, in another passage *, the 



1 Ch. V, K. T. K. Vol. XIV, p. 533. About the Gukwansho cf. above, p. 187, note 1 

2 Ch. XII, Teikoku Bunko, Vol. V, p. 333. 

3 ^ ^W^i Shakatsura, i. e. Sagara, one of the eight Great Dragon-kings. Cf. 
above Introd., § 1, p. 4; Book II, Ch. IV, § 6, p. 189. According to Eitel, Handbook 
of Chinese Buddhism, Sagara's daughter, eight years old, became a Buddha under 
•Manjugri's tuition. 4 Ch. XLIV, p. 1158. 

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reason why the dragon was reborn as Antoku Tenn5. The retired 

Emperor Go-Shirakawa, thus we read there, sought in vain the 

Kusanagi sword \ one of the three treasures of the Imperial 

family, which Susanowo no Mikoto had found in the tail of the 

eight-headed serpent Tamato no orochi/ After having prayed for 

seven days in the temple of Kamo, he received a divine revelation 

in a dream, to the effect that the sword was to be found at 

the bottom of the sea at Dan-no-ura, and that two female divers 

of that place, Oimatsu and Wakamatsu, a mother and her 

daughter, were to be ordered to seek it. In consequence of this 

dream Yoshitsune was despatched to Dan-no-ura, and the two 

women were told to dive for the sword. They obeyed and 

remained under water for a whole day (!) Then they returned 

to the surface, and the mother said that down there was a very 

strange place, which she could not enter without Buddha's powerful 

assistance ; therefore she wanted the Nyoho^kyo ^, a stitra, to be 

copied and wound around her body. Immediately a large number 

of venerable priests assembled and copied the sutra; the woman 

wound this round her body and dived again. This time it lasted 

no less than one day and one night before she came up, without 

the sword. Yoshitsune asked her what she had seen, but she 

answered that she could tell only the Emperor himself. So he 

took her to Kyoto, where she reported the following to the 

Emperor. She had entered the gate of a magnificent building, 

apparently the Dragon-king's palace, and when she had told that 

she came as a messenger from the Emperor of Japan, to ask for 

the precious sword, two women led her into the garden, to an 

old pine tree, where from under a half-raised blind (sudare) she 

could look into a room. There she saw a big serpent, twenty 

shaku long, with a sword in its mouth and a child of seven or 

eight years within its coils. The monster's eyes were large and 

glittered like the sun and the moon, and its red tongue incessantly 

moved up and down. The serpent said to the woman: "Tell the 

Emperor, that this sword does not belong to Japan, but to the 

Dragon -palace. My second son ^ driven out of my palace on 

account of some evil deed, changed into the eight-headed serpent 

of the head-waters of the River Hi in Izumo (the Yamato no 

orochi), and was killed by Susanowo, who took the sword out of 

the snake's tail and gave it to Amaterasu. Under the reign of 

the Emperor Keiko (71^ — 130 A. D.), when Prince Yamatd-dake 



1 Kusanagi no tsUrugi, ^ ^ ^^' ^ ^H ^ ^ • 

3 In the other versions of the legend it was his daughter. 

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subjected the barbarians, Amaterasu handed over the sword to 
Utsnki no miya ', who gave it to the Prince. Then my second 
son assumed the shape of a big snake, ten shaku long, and lay 
down in Yamato-dake's way at the foot of Ibukiyama (in Omi 
province), in order to frighten the Prince and take backthe sword. 
The Prince, however, was not afraid of the snake and stepped 
over it, thus frustrating my son's design \ Finally, the latter 
reincai-nated himself as the Emperor Antoku and jumped into 
the sea with the sword, which he returned to me. This child 
here is my son in his human shape, and the sword which I am 
holding in my mouth is the one yon. ask for. But I cannot give 
it to the Emperor". On receiving this message. Go Shirakawa 
was very much distressed and thought the precious object was 
lost. This was, however, not the case, for the real sword was 
preserved in the Great Shrine (Daijingu) at Ise, and Antoku's 
sword was only a counterfeit. How strange that the Dragon-god 
did not know this! 

Another legend in a different way connected the Kusanagi 
sword with a Dragon-king* In 674- A. D. a Korean bonze stole 
the sword from the Shinto temple at Atsuta in Owari province, 
and hid it under his mantle. But a dark cloud descended before 
the shrine, took the treasure and placed it back into the sanctuary. 
Then the priest, after praying there for a hundred days, again 
stole the sword and fled to Omi province. Once more the black 
cloud appeared, deprived the thief of his prey and flew away 
with it an eastern direction (to Atsuta). A third time the theft 
seemed to be crowned with success, for the priest had succeeded 
in secretly carrying the sword on board a ship bound for Korea, 
when a severe storm arose and checked the vessel in its course. 
In despair the Korean threw the sword into the sea, and the 
Dragon-king took it and returned it to Atsuta ^ 

§ 2. The Thunder-god caught by Sukaru and identified with a 

Dragon-king. 

In the Gempei seisuiki^ we find the following remarkable story. 



1 ^ @ . According to the ordinary legend Amaterasu gave the sword to her 
grandson Ninigi. Yamato-dake used it afterwards against the barbarians, and after his 
death it was placed in the Shinto temple of Atsuta in Owari province. 

2 Cf. Nihongi, Ch. VII, K. T.K. Vol. I, p. 148: The god of Mount Ibuki took the 
shape of a great serpent, but the Prince strode over it and passed on. Then the god 
"raised up the clouds and made an icy rain to fall" (Aston, Nihongi, Vol. I, p. 209). 

3 Gempei seisuikt, Oh. XLIV, pp. 1157 seq. 

' 4 Ch. XVII, p. 451, under, the heading: "How Sukaru daught the Thunder". 

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"At the time of the Emperor Yuryaku (the twenty second Emperor, 
457—479), there was an important vassal of His Majesty, Oshibe 
Sukaru by name. One day when this man entered the palace of 
Hatsuse Asakura a,nd the apartments of the Emperor, who was 
staying there, the latter was just in intimate intercom-se with 
the Empress. As just then a thunderstorm was raging, the 
monarch, for shame at having been surprised, ordered Sukaru, 
in order to get rid of him, to invite the roaring thunder (to 
the palace) The vassal, on having received the Imperial command, 
left the palace and rode on horseback from the road of Abe no 
Yamada to Toyora-dera, looking up to the sky and crying: 
'Thou, Thunder-god who art roaring in the sky. His Majesty 
commands thee to fall down'. The thunder, however, continued 
going away and making the air resound with its echoes. Then 
Sukaru again set spurs to his horse and exclaimed: 'Although 
thou art a Thunder-god, thou art roaring in the air of Japan. 
How shouldst thou be able to disobey the Emperor's order?' 
Then with a loud noise the Dragon-hing returned and dropped 
on the earth between Toyora-dera and lioka. Sukaru at once 
called Shinto priests, caused them to place the Dragon-god in a 
sedan-chair, and returned to the palace. When he reported the 
matter to the Emperor, the Thunder erected his scales, stared 
with eyes dilating and watched the Palace, while his radiance 
illuminated the whole building. This spectacle frightened His 
Majesty, and, after having made all kinds of offerings to the 
Thunder-god, he quickly sent him back to the spot where he 
had fallen down. This spot is now called 'The Thunder's Hill' 
(Ikazuchi no oka)". 

This is a very old legend, found in the Nihongi and the Ryo- 
i-ki. The version of the Nihongi ' is as follows : — "In the seventh 
year of the Emperor Yiiryaku's reign (463), on the third day of 
the seventh month. His Majesty said to Oshibe no Sukaru, Minister 
of State (Muraji, 5^): 'I wish to see the shape of the god of 
Mimoro hill (Mimoro no oka, also called Mount Mimoro). As you 
excel others in strength, you shall go and after having caught 
him yourself, you must bring him here'. Sukaru answered: 'I 
will try to do so', and ascending Mimoro hill he caught a big 
serpent (^i*^), which he showed to the Emperor. As the latter 
had not practised religious abstinence (in honour of the god), 



1 Ch. XIV, p. 242. Cf. Aston's translation {Nihongi, Vol. I, p. 347), where the 
name is written "Sukaru Chihisako Be no Muraji". In the Gempei seisuiki (Ch. XVII, 
p. 451), however, at the sid^ of the characters A^ ■^ ^SK is written in kana: Oshibe. 



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the deity's thundier rolled and his eyes flashed. The Emperor 
was frightened, covered his eyes and did not look upon the god, 
but hid himself in the interior of the Palace and ordered the 
snake to be released on the hill. For this reason the Emperor 
altered the deity's name into 'Ikazuchi' ('Thunderbolt')". 

As to the Ryo-i-ki^, this gives the same details as the Gempei 
seisuiki, which apparently borrowed the legend from it. Instead 
of "Dragon-king", or *Dragon-god", however, the ancient work 
simply calls the deity "Thunder-god" (H" jjj^), which shows that 
the identification of this divinity with a Dragon-king dates from 
later times. The author of the Gempei seisuiki, translating the 
old text into modern Japanese, followed the ideas of his age, 
and, changing the word "Thunder-god", which he once retained, 
the two other times into "Dragon-king" and "Dragon-god", he 
added the words: "erected his scales and dilated his eyes". The 
fact that the Nihongi spoke of a ^erpenif-shaped mountain god 
made the identification with a dragon quite logical. The author 
of the Gempei seisuiki omitted the last part of the legend, which 
in the Ryo-i-ki runs as follows: "Afterwards, when Sukaru had 
died, the Emperor by decree ordered to delay the funeral for 
seven days and seven nights. He praised his loyalty and had his 
tomb made on the same spot where the Thunder had fallen 
down. Over the grave he erected a stone monument with the 
following inscription : 'This is the Thunder-catcher Sukaru 's tomb'. 
The Thunder, angry at this insult, came down with a loud roar 
and trampled upon the stone monument, but while he was 
smashing it, he was seized (by Sukaru's ghost). When the Emperor 
heard this, he released the Thunder, who was not dead, but, 
being quite perplexed, remained there for seven days and seven 
nights. The Emperor ordered another stone monument to be 
erected with the following inscription: 'This is the tomb of 
Sukaru, who in life-time and after death caught the Thunder'. 
This is the reason why at the time of the old capital (i. e. Suiko 
Tenno's capital, Owarida no miya, /Jn yjo K '§' ; the Empress 
Suiko reigned 593—628) this spot was called 'Thunder-hill'". 

§ 3. Watatsumi no kami, the Sea-god, identified with a Dragon-king. 

A similar alteration of an old text by the author of the Gempei 
seisuiki is to be found in the legend about Prince Taraato-dake, 

1 ^ S ^F ' written by the Buddhist priest Keieai about 750- A. D. Ch. I, 

23BX ^^tT Mw 

Gunsho ruifu, nr 447, Vol. XVI, p. 23, 

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202 

who, when his ship was tossed about by wind and waves on its 
way from Musashi to Kazusa province, was saved by his talented 
concubine Ototo Tashibana hime, who jumped into the sea in 
order to sacrifice herself on behalf of the Prince to the Dragon- 
god, and thus appeased the turbulent waves '. This legend is 
borrowed from the Nihongi'^, but there we read only about 
Watatsumi no kami ', the "God of the Sea" {*^|$). 

§ 4. The dragon-hole in the Gion shrine. 

A dragon's hole in a Shinto temple is mentioned by the Zoku 
kojidan^. This hole was said to be in the hoden ("treasure-hall", 
where the shintai or "god-bodies" of the gods are , preserved) of 
the. Gion shrine at Kyoto. In 1221, when the temple was destroyed 
by fire, Hashimoto, the Buddhist head-abbot (zasu) of Hieizan, 
tried to measure the depth of the hole, but even at a depth of 
fifty jo (five hundred shabu) the bottom was not yet reached. 

§ 5. The dragon-snake offered by the Sea-god to the Sada shrine. 

The Shokoku rijindan^ says the following: "In the Shinto 
temple of Sada, in Akika district, Izumo province, worship is 
performed in several ways. Between .the eleventh and the fifteenth 
day of the tenth month there comes from the open sea a small 
snake, about one shaku long, floating on the waves and approaching 
the shore. It is a beautiful, gold-coloured animal, called dragon- 
snake (^fi'fe, ryuja). The priest of the shrine, after having 
purified himself, goes to the beach and awaits the snake, which 
he carries, coiled up upon some seaweeds, to the temple. . It is' a 
present from the Sea-god to the shrine". 

§ 6. A dragon-snake as a tree-sprite on Koya san. 

Another tale in the same work ^ refers to a serpent-shaped 
tree-sprite, the spirit of a willow zdXlQdi ja-yanagi, il'fef^p, or 
" snake- willow ", on Koya san. This was a big serpent or dragon, 



1 Ch. XLIV. p. 1157. 2 Ch. VII, K-T. K. Vol, I, p. 146. 

3 Of. above, Book II, Chap. I, § 3, p. 137. 

^ ^B "n ^^ wv ' pi'ol'^bly written at the end of the thirteenth or in the be- 
ginning of the fourteenth century; Ch. IV, Gunsho ruijii, nr 487, Vol. XVII, p. 681. 

5 ^ H M A ^' written in 1746 by Kikuoka Senryo, ^ |Sj "^i^ ^ ; 
Ch. I, Zoku Teikoka Bunko, Vol. XX, p. 879. 

6 Ch. I, p. 891. 

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which from remote ages lived on this sacred mountain, till it was 
forced by Kobo Daishi to retreat to a spot about half a inile 
distant. He made the demon promise to do so by causing poisonous 
snakes to appear on his (the demon's) body, so that he suffered 
immensely and at once was willing to go away. Thenceforth 
Kobo Daishi forbade to bring flutes on the mountain, for fear 
that the sound of a flute, by its resembling a dragon's cry, 
might attract the serpent and cause it to return to its former 
abode. This' was told by one of the monks to Hideyoshi, when 
the latter, staying as a pilgrim on the mountain, had ordered 
a famous no-actor, whom he had taken with him, to give a 
performance. The monk warned him, not to arouse the dragon 
by flute playing, but Hideyoshi langhed at him. But no sooner 
had the tones of the flute resounded on the mountain, than 
dark clouds arose in the clear sky and covered the earth. A 
severe thunderstorm shook mountains and valleys, trees were 
uprooted and the rain poured down in torrents. Hideyoshi, 
frightened by these terrible signs of the dragon's presence, fled 
from the monastery and took shelter in a small house at the 
foot of the mountain. When about two hours had elapsed, the 
tempest abated, but Hideyoshi's unbelief in Kobe's wisdom was 
cured for ever. 

§ 7. The "Heavenly Dragon's Well" at the Suwa shrine. 

According to the Honcho zohugenshi\ one of the seven wonders 
of the famous Shinto shrine of Suwa-Myojin, at the Suwa lake 
(P^^M' Suwa-ko), where the Tenryu-gawa (^ f| )\\ , "Hea- 
venly Dragon River") takes its rise, is the TenryU no ido, or 
"Heavenly Dragon's Well" (3^f|y^)- There was always 
water dripping from the overhanging roof of the temple into 
this well, which phenomenon was apparently ascribed to a dragon. 
When Kublai Khan's Armada attacked Japan, the Glod of Suwa 
flew in the shape of a long, five-coloured cloud, having the 
resemblance of a serpent, from the lake to the West, in order 
to assist the Japanese against the foreign invaders I 

In the neighbourhood of the same "Heavenly Dragon River", 



1 2fe ^ 'fS^^ ^' witten in 1746 by Kikuoka Senryo, ^ ^ ^^j^ }^ 
(also called Beizan, tJ^ jjj), Ch. I, p. 19, quoted in the Shiojiri, ^ J^ , written 
in 1749 by Zansetsusha Sokyu, ^ ^ "^ ^ 2^' ^h. II. 

2 Taiheiki, Ch. XXXIX, p. 12. 

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in Totomi province, a big dragon's head was preserved in a 
Buddhist tempk called Zuda-dera ( ^ jX^ ^ ). It was taken to 
Yedo and there shown to the people. The river's name was said 
to have originated from the presence of this dragon '. 

§ 8. Kurikara Myo-o, the dragon-shaped mountain- god. 



Another Shinto shrine, the temple of Kurikara Mye-o, -^ ^ 
^ ^ ^ ^ , is dedicated to a dragon-shaped mountain-god, who 
is said to live in a waterfall on Mount Oyama in Sagami province. 
As the Nilion sliukyo fuzoku shi^ (1902) tells us, in olden times 
the Buddhist priest Ryoben was preaching there one day, when 
a violent thunderstorm suddenly arose and the water in the 
hollow, excavated by the cataract, was heavily disturbed. A huge 
dragon came forth from it and said to the priest: "I am the 
guardian-god of this mountain. After having heard your sermon, 
I wish to serve Buddha". Then Eyoben worshipped the dragon, 
and afterwards as little Shinto shrine was built on the spot and 
dedicated to the dragon, which was called by the Buddhist name 
"Kurikara Myo-o", "Kurikara, the Light-King" (i. e. Vidya-raja, 
the word Light being used in the sense of (mystic) Knowledge, 
Vidya). 

This was apparently an original Japanese dragon-shaped moun- 
tain-god, who was identified by the Buddhists with Fudo Myo-o's 
dragon-shape ; the Shinto shrine, however, remained his sanctuary. 
Kurikara is, as we read in Midra's Bukkyo irolia jiten ', Fudo 
Myo-o's "Samaya" (^ ^ !^P ) shape, a black dragon coiled 
around a sword. 



1 Shiojiri, Gh. II, p. 11. 2 P. 214. 

3 Vol. Ill, p. 57, s.v. Kurikara; cf. below, Ch. VI, § 10. 



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CHAPTER VI. 

THE DRAGON-LANTERN. 

Among the many igms fatui of Japan the Dragon-lantern 
{Byuto, fl jl^) occupies an important place. It mostly rises 
from the sea and flies from there to the mountains, where it is 
seen hanging in some special old pine or cryptomeria tree before 
a (mostly Buddhist) temple. Old pine trees especially are famous 
in respect to these mysterious lights, which are evidently offerings 
sent by the dragons of the sea to the deities or Buddhas or 
Bodhisattvas worshipped in the shrines. There is an enormous 
number of legends telling of the Dragon-lanterns appearing along 
the mountainous coasts of Japan. In order to make clear the 
people's ideas on this point, however, it may be sufficient to 
refer to a few passages, because they closely resemble one 
another, and the same conceptions lie at the bottom of them all. 

The old annals do not speak of the Dragon-lantern, nor do 
we find any mention made of it in other books before the 
fourteenth century. 

§ 1. Dengyo Daishi's image of Yakushi Ifyorai. 

The Kigegawa Yakushi engi^ says the following: "The image 
of Yakushi Nyorai in Jokwoji (also called Shoryuzan, ^ f | iJj , 
"Blue Dragon monastery"), in Katsushika district, Shimosa 
province, is made by Dengyo Daishi I When Jikaku Daishi ^ 
stayed in Asakusa-dera (the famous Kwannon temple in Asakusa, 
the well-known district of Yedo), an old man with grey hair 
appeared to him and said: 'In the North-east there is a holy 



i tI^ ~K jll ^ ^i0 M^' written in 1327 by the Buddhist priest GiJUN. 
^ ^ , Gunslio ruiju, Vol. XV, nr 442, p. 637. 

^ '^ ^ ~^ ^^ (767—822), the founder of the Tendai sect in Japan. 
3 ^ &■ ~hr' fijfi (794 — 864), in 854 appointed head (zasu) of the Tendai sect. 

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place, where I have dedicated a miraculous image made by 
Dengyo Daishi'. Thereupon the man disappeared, and Jikaku went 
outside and looked towards the North-east. Suddenly a lucky 
cloud (^ ^, zui-un, a cloud of a lucky colour) arose, and in it 
a blue dragon was visible. Then the Daishi secretly left the 
temple and went in search of this blue dragon, till he arrived 
at the cottage (where the above-mentioned old man had lived 
as a hermit and had obtained the image). There he worshipped 
the image and saw the blue dragon, which was still there. 
Jikaku turned himself to the lucky cloud and addressed the 
dragon as follows: 'I wish to say a few words to you, you sacred 
dragon, listen to me. I want to built a temple here, which you 
must guard and protect from calamity. From this moment I 
appoint you guardian-god of the shrine'. When the Daishi had 
finished speaking, the dragon, which had listened motionless, 
with his head bent down in reverence, disappeared. The priest 
considered this to be a good sign, and called the sanctuary 
'Blue Dragon temple'. Up till this day from time to time a 
dragon- lantern appears there as a wonderful, lucky omen,- probably 
in consequence of the above facts (i. e. because the blue dragon 
is the temple's guardian-god)". 

The Udo meisho ki ' tells us that from olden times many 
pilgrims went iip to this temple, which is also called Jokwoji 
(f^ 3fc ^' "Temple of the Pure Light"), to worship the dragon- 
lantern, which was sure to arise before the image of Yakushi Nyorai 
on the eighth day of every month, and on New- Year's morning. 

§ 2. Kotao Daishi's spirit. 

In the Tomioha Hachiman shaki, "History of the Shinto temple 
of Hachiman of Tomioka" ^, we read that in 1628 Kobo Daishi'^ 
ghost appeared in a dream to a Shingon priest and ordered all 
the priests of his sect in Kwanto, except the heads of Koya and 
Sekigaku, to assemble in Eitaijima (in Yedo). They obeyed the 
saint's command and preached sermons for ninety days at a 
stretch. At the same time they erected a temple, dedicated to 



1 ;^ -^ i^ J^ @S ' written by AsAi Ryo-i, ]^ ^ T j^ i ■who lived 
1639-1709, and printed in 1662; Ch. Ill, p. 19. 

2 W N A ll# f± IE ' q"°ted by^CRiHARA Ryu-an, ^ jg IIP ^ 
(1793—1870), in his Ryu-an zuihitsu, ||0^|M^) written in 1819, Hyaklia 



setsurin, Vol, ^^ ~K ^ , p. 487. 



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Kobo Daishi's soul (Mikage-do), and since that time a dragon- 
lantern arose before this shrine. 

§ 3. Jigen Daishi's spirit. 

The Jigen Daishi den\ the biography of Jigen Daishi, i.e. the 
Buddhist bishop Tenkai ^, who was greatly revered by leyasu, 
and who died in 1643, contains the following tale. — "In the 
evening of the second day of the eleventh month of the twentieth 
year of the Kwanei era (1643) a special service was held (for 
Jigen's soul) in the Sembakita temple (in Musashi), when a 
dragon-lantern rose from a well and hung on the top of a 
cryptomeria tree at the southern front of the kyakuden ("reception- 
hall" of the temple). Priests and laymen stared at the light with 
astonishment, and paid worship to it. Immediately a fast runner 
was despatched as a messenger to the Mkko temple, in order 
to proclaim the news, and everybody was filled with admiration 
(for Jigen's holiness, for his soul was evidently believed to be 
connected with the light, like that of Kobo Daishi in the prece- 
ding legend)" ^ 

§ 4. "Dragon-lantern pine trees". 

Very frequently mention is made of so-called '- Dragon-lantern 
pine trees'' (Bymd no matsii, f| 'M ^), which stood before 
Buddhist temples, and in the branches of which a dragon-lantern 
was said to arise regularly. Now and then we read of such trees 
standing near Shinto shrines, but by far the greatest part of the 
passages concerning them, as well as those concerning the dragon- 
lantern in general, relate to Buddhist sanctuaries. 

Before the chapel of Monju (ManjuQrl), called Monjudo 
(3»t 1^^^)' ^* ^™^ ^° hashidate (one of the Nihon saukei, the. 
three most beautiful places of Japan) in Tosa district. Tango 
province, situated near the so-called Kuze no to, or Kire-to, there 
stood a "dragon-lantern pine tree". At midnight of the sixteenth 



3 Curiously rationalistic at the side of these passages sound the following words of 

the Ensei meibutsu kohot ( ^ ^ ig .#/ # f f M ' ^^- ^"^)' l""*^"^ °° ^''^ 
same page of the Ryuan zulhitsu : — "The 'Devil-lights' (kirin, J^ |j|) and Dragon- 
lanterns which appear above swamps, pools, broad plains, mountain temples, grave- 
yards etc. are 'zwavelstofgas' coming forth from rotten animals and plants". The word 
"zwavelatofgas", written in kana, is a Dutch word and must be "zwavelwaterstofgas", 
i. e. hydrogen sulphide. 



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day of every month there appeared from the northeastern sea 
a dragon-lantern, which flew to this tree; and in the night of 
the sixteenth day of the first, fifth and ninth months another 
light, called the "Heavenly Lantern" {Tento, ^ )l^) descended 
from the sky. Also a third light, the so-called "Ise no go id'\ 
or "August Light of Ise", which is mentioned in the TuM meislio 
ryaku^ (1697), where it is said to be named ShinW (jpf j)^, the 
"Sacred Light") and to be made by the divinity of the Daijingti 
at Ise (Amaterasu), was visible on this spot. The image of the 
Bodhisattva ManjuQrl (Monju Bosatsu), which was worshipped 
there, was said to be of Indian origin and to have come out 
of the sea. 

The same temple is referred to in the Kii zodanshu ^, where 
we read the following particulars concerning the light: — "It 
comes from a deep spot in the sea, two cho from the "Broken 
Door" (Kire-to) of Hash i date, where the Gate of the Dragon- 
palace is said to be. When the weather is fine and wind and 
waves are calm, it goes from Kire-to to the Monju shrine. Unbe- 
lieving people cannot see it, or, if they see it, they think it to be 
the light of some fisherman. It stops on the top of a high pine tree 
which stands about 20 ken south of the Monjudo. After half an hour 
or shorter it is extinguished. From time to time a little boy is 
seen on the top of the tree, carrying the lamp which is called 
Tendo, ^ j^, "Heavenly Lantern" (this word may also be written 
3^ ^ , Tendo, "Heavenly boy"). Formerly this boy (an angel) 
often appeared, but now rarely". 

The Nihon shuJcyd fuzoku shi^ (1902) mentions an old "Dragon- 
lantern pine tree" which still stands near a Shinto temple called 
Uhara jinja (^ j^ ff jjtt), in Karida village, Kyoto district, 
Buzen province. There Toyotama-bime, the Sea-god's daughter, 
in the shape of a dragon gave birth to a son*, and at the same 
time a light (a dragon-lantern) came flying from the sea and 
hung in the same pinetree ^. 



1 Ch. XIII, p. 18. About this work see above, p. 170, note 4. 

2 -^ ^^ ^fi| sjj^ ^M , "Collection of all kinds of strange tales", written by "the 
son of Nakamura, Lord of Buzen", in the Tembun era (1532 — 1554) (cf. Matsunoya 
hikki, Ch. Ill, p. 4, and the work itself, Oh. II, p- 15, where the author states that 
his father, Nakamura, Lord of Buzen, lived in the Buraraei era (1469 — 1486). 

3 P. 436. 4 Cf. above. Book II, Ch. I, § 5, p. 139. 

5 Cf. the Buzen kokushi, -^ ■jram ^ ^, written in 1865 by Takada Yoshichika, 
j^ 05 ■^ j5^ , who does not call the light a dragon-lantern, but states that it 
appeared even in his days. 



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We may mention here another Shinto shrine, the Shirahige 
jinja (Q ^ 1$ jjtfc) in Shiga district, Omi province, where a 
dragon-lantern was said to enter the worshipping hall (haiden) 
from time to time, instead of hanging in a pine tree'; and the 
Jogu ('^ '§'), a Shinto temple in Tsurnga, Echizen province, 
where every New-year's night such a light arose in a "Dragon- 
lantern pine tree" which stood in the temple garden ^. 

Before the Buddhist chapel of Kasai Yakushi ( ^ ^ ^ gi]j ), 
situated on a mountain north of Obayama, in Bizen province, 
there stood a "Dragon-lantern pinie tree". Every night, especially 
in summer time, will-o'-the-wisps were seen there ^ 

§ 5. Tide-stones connected with dragon-lanterns- 

On the top of Kaneyama, a mountain very near the above- 
mentioned chapel of Kasai Yakushi, there was a big stone with 
a hole in it, about one shaku square. When tide was high, this 
hole was filled with water, and at low tide it was dry *. 

It seems that such stones were considered to be connected 
with the dragons who sent the dragon-lanterns, for also on the 
Sata promontory, in Hata district, Tosa province (30 ri west of 
Kochi) there was at the same period (1746) the so-called Ushio- 
ishi' ('^J^) or *Tide-stone", a concave stone^ filled with water 
at high tide and' empty at ebb time, while on the same spot, 
near the Shinto temple of Ashizuri no Myojin {^^ J 1^ l^)- 
a dragon-lantern used to appear from the sea simultaneously 
with the descent from the sky of a Heavenly Light {Tento, 
^ 'J^)- The latter was one of the seven wonders of the place. 
Another of these wonders was a dragon-horse, w^hich lised to 
come at the hour of the ox (1 — 3 a.m.) and to eat the small 
bamboo, which for this reason gradually died out in the vicinity 
of the temple ^). 

The connection between the tide-stones and the dragons at once 
reminds us of the legen<is concerning Tbyotama-hiko, the Sea-god, 
who gave the tide-jevv^el to Hiko-hohodemi ", and concerning the 
Empress Jingo, who was assisted by the gods of Kasuga and 



■ 1 Yuhdmeisho ryaku(i691), Ch. VI, p. 16. 

2 Toryuki kohen (see below, p. 210, note 2), p. 113. 

3 Honclio zokugenshi (1746, cf. above, Bbok .II, Ch.- V, § 7, p. 203, note 1), Ch. 
IV, p. 10. " .... 4 Ibidem. 

5 Shohoku rijindan (1746, see above, p. 202, note 5), Ch. Ill, Section VI, p. 928. 

6 See' above,; Booli II, Ch. I, § 6, p. 140. 

VeA. Kon. Akad. v. Wetensch. (Afd. Lettert.) N. B. Dl. XIII, N" 2. 14 

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Kawakami by means of the jewels of low and high tide, taken 
from Sagara, the Dragon-king '. 

§ 6. The Mountain-light and the Dragon-lantern of Gammokuzan 
in Etchu province- 

The ToyuM kohen ^ states the following about a temple of the 
Zen sect in Niikawa district^ Etchu province, called Gammokuzan 
( B^ @ |JL| ) or Sakkwazan. When this shrine was opened by its 
founder, the priest Daitetsu, a pupil of Dogen (^tCj Shoyo 
Daishi, 1200-^1253), the Mountain-god and a Dragon-god assisted 
and performed all kinds of miracles. Still in the author's time 
(second half of the eighteenth century) yearly on the 13th day 
of the 7th month (probably the date of the opening of the 
shrine) two lights appeared on the top of a pine tree in the 
temple garden. One of these lights (that of the Mountain-god) 
came flying from the summit of Mount Tateyama, the other 
(that of the Dragon-god) rose up from the sea, and both stopped 
on the pine tree. They were called the Mountain-light and the 
Dragon-lantern {Santo, Ryuto), and were seen every year by, the 
people of the neighbourhood. "Although", says Tachibana Nankei, 
"there are many cases of dragon-lanterns coming out of the sea, 
they rarely appear simultaneously and on the same pine tree 
with a mountain-light, as is the case at this temple". 

§ 7. Kwannon's dragon-lantern at Byukoji. 

On Itozaki yama, in Echizen province, Hannan (the present 
Sakai) district, there is a Buddhist temple called Ryuhoji (^ 
J^^, "Dragon's rise-temple"), which was built by a Chinese 
priest who came from China on the back of an enormous tortoise, 
carrying a precious Kwannon image. When approaching the coast 
the tortoise emitted a strong light, and the fishermen, seeing 
this, went out to meet it and carried the image ashore. A temple 
was dedicated to this Kwannon, and every night a blue dragon 
appeared there in a so-called "Dragon-lantern pine tree", carrying 
a light in honour of the deity. When he appeared, there was 
always a large number of holy priests, clad in magnificent robes, 



1 See above, Book II, Ch. I, § 7, p. 142. 

2 ^ ^ IE # H' '^""^" '" ^^^' ^^. Tach'bana Nankef, ;|^ ^ |§ 
(1752-1805), Zoku Teikoku bunko. Vol. XX {KiKo bunsItU, ^E ^ "^ ^)> P- I'lS. 



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making heavenly music in the air. The priests could see them, 
but the ordinary people could only hear their music '. 

§ 8. Tomyo-dake, Eumauo Gongen at Nogami, Kwomyoji at 
Kamakxira and Zenkwoji at ilTagauo. 

Sometimes a mountain peak is called after a dragon-lantern, 
as e.g. the Tomyo-dake (i)^ 55 ^), or "Light-Peak", in Kawachi 
province, Ishikawa district (the present Minami Kawachi district), 
where such a light appeared at Kokidera, a Buddhist temple, the 
guardian-god of which was the Shinto mountain-deity Iwabune 
Myojin ^. 

In the last night of the year, at the hour of the ox(l — 3 a.m.), 
a dragon-lantern used to be seen near the shrine of Kumano 
Gongen at Nogami village, Suwo province, while at the same 
time another "sacred light" {shinhwa, f$ ^JC) came flying, swift 
like an arrow, from the neighbouring "Dragon-mouth Mountain". 
While worshipping these lights the villagers entered upon the 
New year ». 

Another' dragon-lantern was said to arise yearly from the sea 
to the clouds in the vicinity of Kwomyoji (3fe B^ ^)j the "Shrine 
of Brilliant Light" in Kamakura in two nights during the temple 
festival which lasted ten days *. And from the lith to the 16th 
of the 7th month a similar light flew up from the Saikawa, a 
river in Shinano province, and, jumping from tree top to tree 
top it alighted on the south-western gable ofthe main building 
of Zenkwoji, the famous Buddhist sanctuary at Nagano ^. 

§ 9. The light of Yotsukura. 

A celebrated dragon-lantern was that of Yotsukura, a village 
on the coast of Hitachi province. It is described as a glittering 
fire ball, fully one shaku in diameter, and spreading a very clear 
light. Fishermen explained this (as well as all other so-called 
dragon-lanterns) to be a mass of flying insects born upon the 
water, which dispersed and disappeared as soon as they heard 
people approaching. Therefore they never appeared in storm and 
rain (because they were afraid of noise). "Sometimes", they said, 
"these insects cluster into one mass, which is seen hanging on 



1 Yuho meisho ryaku, Ch. V, p. 16. 

2 Ibidem, Ch. IV, p. 59. 

3 Shokoku rijindan, Ch. Ill, Section VI, pp. 928 seq. 

4 Ibidem. 5 Honcho zokugenshi, Ch. Ill, p. 8. 

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the top of a high tree or on the eaves of a temple, and which 
looks like . a ball of fire. The so-called sUranu-bi ( ^ ^ )!C > 
"unknown fire") is the same '. 

More details about the Yotsukura light are to be found in the 
Td-d kiko ^, which says that it moves, floating on the water, 
from the sea along the Kara ado river up to the valley brooks. 
At the foot of Mount Akai-dake it flies up and is soon seen 
hanging between the branchesof big crypto merias, till it disappears 
into the depths of the wood, continually followed by other lights, 
in an endless row, from evening till daybreak. In bright moonshine 
the lights are small, but in dark nights they are big like fire- 
flies or torches. A strange thing is that they are only visible 
from the so-called Enseki (Swallow-stone) on a projecting part 
of the mountain. The author calls it inkioq ( ^ jiC > Yin-&te), 
an expression borrowed from Chinese books, and compares it 
with the "Sacred Lights" (p 'j^) and the « Cold Flames" ( ^ ^), 
mentioned by Chinese authors. 

§ 10. The lights of Ushijiina, Ishidozan and Kurikara- 

In the last night of the year — a time when many dragon- 
lanterns were said to appear, as the above legends have taught 
us — three strange lights used to arise from differents spots 
near the island TJshijima and to join into one mass which flew 
to the "Dragon-lantern pine tree" of Asahizan Jonichiji, a Bud- 
dhist temple at Hirai, a little place in Etchii province, Himi 
district, and seen hanging between its branches ^. 

It was also a dragon-lantern which the Buddhist priest Nansan 
saw on an old pine tree, when he crossed Mount Ishidozan in 
the year 806 ; Amida Nyorai appeared there, seated on a wonderful 
cloud. Nansan built a Buddhist temple on the spot and placed 
Amida Nyorai's image in it. Four centuries later, when the 
Emperor Juntoku (1211 — 1221) went to Sado province and his 
ship was tossed on the waves by a severe storm, all of a sudden 
a dragon-lantern arose in the South on the same spot and served' 



1 Oshu-banashi, ^ >|>j>| '^ ^ ^^^ Onchi'shosho i'^^ ^^), Vol. XI, 
p. 50, 52. 

2 W A ^ ^> written in 1760 by.NAGAKUBO Genshu, "M ^ '^ ^ ^ , 
and quoted by Kubihara RyS-an, ^ j^ ||p ^ (1793—1870) in his Ryu-m 
zuihitsu, Mn ^;'|^ ^ffi 1 written in 1819;Hyakkasetsunn, Vol. ^S ~K — '. . p. 487. 

3 SanshU kidan kohen (1779) (cf., above, p. 174, note 1), Ch. VII, p. 990. 



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as a beacon to the Imperial ship, which safely reached the coast \ 
In the Kurikava ^ mountains, which form the boundary between 
Etchu and Kaga, there was a Shingon temple called Chorakuji 
or Kurikara-san, with an image of Fudo Myo-o. This sanctuary 
was miraculous beyond description, and famous for its wonderful 
"Mountain-lights" and "Dragon-lanterns" I 

§ 11. Ignes fatui in general. The dragon-lantern is the only one 
■which arises from the sea and flies to the mountains. 

Not only in regard to the dragon-lantern, but also in other respects 
especially old pine trees were famous for their ignes fatui. 
So we read of the "gold-fire pine tree" on the road from Komatsu 
to KanazaWa, where phosphorescent light, the so-called "rinkwa" 
(j^ ^), or "kin-kwa'' (^ ^, gold-fire) was seen to fly up and 
down. This fire, however, did not come from the sea, like the 
dragon-lantern, but was ascribed to the fact that formerly criminals 
used to be beheaded under this tree, whose blood, penetrating 
into the ground, had become so-called "ki-rin'' (^ '^) or 
"demon's fire"; or some one had in great anger committed 
suicide on this spot, and "the fire of his heart made the pine 
tree burn" *. 

The idea of blood causing these mysterious lights is borrowed 
from China; we read in De Groot's Religious System of China ^ 
that blood, identified with the tsing kH (^ ^), the breath or 
gang soul possessed by vital energy, especially the blood of men 
killed by weapons, and that of horses and cows, forms ignes fatui. 
They are soul-flames, especially to be seen on battle-fields. The 
identification of blood and soul is not only a Chinese conception °, 
but is also found among some Indian tribes of North America, 
as we learn from Fbazer's Golden Bough \ As to China, there 
the ignes fatui were believed to be produced especially by old 
trees and old blood®. 

Also demons were considered to cause will-o'-the-wisps, as the 
names "ki-rin"" and "oni-bi'' (J^ ^), "demon-fire", clearly show. 
Moreover, old bewitching animals, like tanuki and mujina, were 



1 SanshU kidan (1764) (cf. p. 172, note 7), Ch. IV, p. 815. 

2 Cf. above, Ch. V, § 8, p. 204: Kuriluira Myo-o, the dragon-shaped Fudo Myo-o. 

3 Sanshu kidan, Ch. V, p. 835 {sanfo, ryUto, [Jj ij^ f | j)^ ). 

4 Ibidem, Ch. II, p. 713; "Hachiman's gold-flre''. 

5 Vol. IV, p. 80. 6 De Groot, 1.1., Vol. I, pp. 217, 268, note 2. 

7 VqI. I (second edition), p. 353. 

8 De Groot, 1.1., Vol. IV, p. 80. 

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notorious in this respect '. Besides tanuki-bi, kitsune-bi (badger 
and fox-fire) and oni-bi, the ignes fatui were called inkwa ( (^ ^ , 
or Yin-fire, Fire of Darkness), kumo no hi (^ J ^, spider-fire), 
haigetsu nohi{'}^ ^ J ^ , sea-moon-flre ^ susvke ando ( ^ ^ '^ , 
sooty lantern) ^ or b5zu-bi (Jtjjf ^ ])^, monk's fire)*. 

Not- always, however, are demons ^ or old animals, or dragons 
believed to cause the Jack-o'-lanterns, nor are these only con- 
sidered to be angry souls of the dead °, for also Buddhas and 
Shinto gods may. be the producers of these wonderful " bwari-bi^\ 
or "dangling lights". Amida Nyorai himself, as we have seen 
above ', appeared with the dragon-lantern on Ishidozan, and the 
name Butsu-td ('^ j]^), or "Buddha's lights", is sufiicient evidence 
of this belief. As to the Shinto gods, we may mention the ignes 
fatui near Gofaku village in Etchu, which were said to be caused 
by the jealous spirit of the goddess Fukura-hime no Mikoto, 
whose consort, the , god Noto-hiko, during her absence took a 
second wife, whereupon she pelted his temple with stones ^. And 
in the year 1770 the god Sanno made a sacred light (jji^i)^, 
sUnto) appear in the dead of night in the worshipping-hall of 
his temple in Sebamachi, at the western mouth of the Nami- 
kawa; after two nights he stopped it in consequence of offerings 
made to him and hagura dances performed in his honour ^ 

So we see that there is a great variety of ignes fatui in Japan. 
The dragon-lantern, however, is the only one which arises from 
the sea and flies to the mountains; all the others start and 
remain in the woods, or fly from there to the sea coast, where 
they sometimes fall into the water '°. The reason for this diffe- 
rence is clear: the dragon-lantern is believed to be an offering 
sent by the dragons, of the sea to the deities, Buddhas or 
Bodhisattvas in the mountains, while the other lights, on the con- 
trary, are ascribed to these divine beings themselves, or to demons, 
animals or spirits of the dead, all of which have their abodes in 
the mountains and woods or on the grassy plains of the battle-fields. 



1 Cf. ray treatise on "The Fox and the Badger in Japanese Folklore, Transactions 
of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Vol. XXXVI, Part. Ill, pp. 151 seq., 156. 

2 Sanshu kidan kohen, Ch. VI, pp. 955 seq. 

3 Ibidem. 4 Sanshu kidan, Ch. Ill, p. 752. 

5 Mami, ^§ ffijc, cf. Sanshu, kidan, Ch. Ill, p. 770. 

6 Sanshu kidan, Ch. I, p. 664; Cli. V, p. 840. _ 7_P. 212. 

8 Sanshu kidan, Ch. V, p. 840. 9 Sanshu kidan kohen, Ch. VIII, p. 1001. 

10 Cf. Sanshu kidan kohen, Ch. VI, p. 956: a fisher catches them in his net, but 
the numberles small lights escape through the mazes, fly up, and join into one massive 
ball of fire which soars away through the air; perhaps, says the author, was it a 
transformation of old blood. 



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CHAPTER VII. 

THE CHINESE DRAGOn's EGGS IN JA.PAN. 
§ 1. The dragon-fetus remains in the egg for three thousand years. 

In the sixteenth century of our era a Japanese author ' spoke 
of an old (certainly Chinese) tradition, according to which a dragon's 
fetus lives during a thousand years in the sea, for a thousand 
years in the mountains and, after having been among men ("in 
a village", says the text) for the same long period, it finally is 
born, becomes a dragon and ascends to the sky ^. During these 
three thousand years the fetus lives as a very small snake within 
a stone, the dragon's egg, which is first lying at the bottom of 
the sea, then comes to the mountains (how it got there is not 
explained), where after a thousand years it is picked up by 
somebody who, carries it home and preserves it on account of 
its beautiful colours, or uses it as an ink-stone (suzuri, ^). As 
it invariably has the remarkable peculiarity of constantly pro- 
ducing water (the dragon's element), it is a very convenient 
ink-stone indeed '. But woe him who possesses such a stone at 
the end of the millennial period which the fetus must pass 
among mankind, for then the stone splits, and a small snake 
creeps out of it, which in a few moments becomes larger and 
larger, and with a terrible noise forces its way to the sky, 
smashing the roof amid thunder and lightning, and ascending in 
a dark cloud. The little reptile has become an enormous four- 
legged dragon, which leaves the narrow abodes of men and frees 
himself in this terrific way. 



1 Kii zodanshu (1532—1554) (cf. above, p. 208, note 2), Ch. Ill, p. 16. 

2 Cf. above, Book I, Ch. Ill, § 16, pp. 88 sqq. 

3 In the Hyakka selsurin (Vol. ^ ~fC Zl. P- 487) we find the following names 
of ink-stones: Ryuringetsu-ken, ^ ^ ^ H' o"" "Dragon-scales-moon-inkstone", 
and Ryuhi-ken, f| ^ ^i "Dragon's tail-inkstone". 

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§ 2. Dragons born from beautiful stones picked up in the mountains- 

A remarkable ink-stone was preserved in olden times, says 
the Kii zodanshu ', in a Zen monastery at Kanagawa, Musashi 
province. Drops of water were constantly dripping out of this 
stone, but nobody understood the reason of this strange pheno- 
menon. Once upon a time, on a very hot summer day, when 
the monks were sitting together in a cool room, all of a sudden 
the ink-stone split of its own accord, and a small worm, about 
2 bu (0.24 inches) long, crept out of- it. The monks were about 
to kill the beast, but the head-priest forbade them to do so, and 
carefully carried it on a fan to the garden, ivhere he put: it into 
the lotus pond. All the monks followed him, and while they 
were looking at the worm, they saw with astonishment hOw the 
little creature, drawing together and stretching its body, grew 
larger and larger. In a great fright they ran back into the house, 
but even there they soon felt themselves nO longer safe, for the 
sky, hitherto quite clear, at once was covered with clouds, thunder 
and lightning raged, and a pitch-black darkness filled the garden 
and enwrapped the building. Then they all fled away through 
the gate and saw from far how the dragon in an immense cloud 
ascended to the sky, first his head, then his four-legged body, 
and finally his enormous tail. When he had disappeared, the 
clouds dispersed and the sky became clear as before. The garden, 
the pond and the building, however, were all in a terrible con- 
dition. In the mean time people from the neighbouring villages 
came to the rescue, thinking that the monastery was on fire. 

A writer of the eighteenth century, Kiuchi Sekitei ^, relates 
the same accident as having happened in Kanazawa (instead of 
Kanagawa). Further, he mentions a round stone which was picked 
up by a boy in the mountains near Sammon, in Omi province. 
As water was constantly trickling out of this stone, the boy 
used it in later years to wet his ink-slab. After fifty years, when 
he had attained the rank of Archbishop — the stone apparently 
had brought him prosperity — the curious object split and a 
dragon arose to the sky, after breaking through the ceiling and 
the roof. The stone existed still in Skkitei's time, and in the 
middle of it there was a hole of the size of a bean. 



1 Ch. V, p. 1. 



2 ^ ^ ;g ^, who lived 1722— -1801, in the Unkonshi kohen, ^ >jt^ ^ 

:^ ^jB , "Records on cloud-roots continued", written in 1779; Ch. II, p. 2." The first 
volume of this worli (zempen) appeared in 1772, and the third (sampen) in 1801. 



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A' similar^ dragon's egg was used by a Buddhist priest in 
Moriyama, Omi province, in 1774, for grinding his tea, till the 
dragon was born and ascended, leaving a round hole in the 
middle of the stone ', 

In another case such an egg was recognized before by a great 
scholar, thoroughly versed in Chinese literature, the famous Ito 
JiNSAi ^, who warned a Court-noble, telling him that a magnifi- 
cent stone," square and five-coloured, in the nobleman's possession 
■was a dragon's egg, and that he had better throw it away in 
some lonely spot. The man followed the scholar's advice, and 
built a little Shinto shrine in the open field outside the capital, 
in which he placed : the stone. A few years afterwards the shrine 
was smashed by the dragon which ascended to heaven. This 
stone was a so-called ryushd-seki, ^| ^ ^ , or " Dragon produ- 
cing stone" ^ 

The name of "dragon-horse-stone" {ryu-me-seki, f| j|| ^) was 
given to another remarkable stone, white as crystal and as big 
as the palm of the hand, which was lying on the desk of a 
samurai in Hizen province. In its centre a moving creature w^s 
visible, and the stone moved by itself from one side of the desk 
to the other. One day the man placed a tea cup filled with water 
on the desk, and when he came back the cup was empty. The 
next day he made the same experiment with a big bowl, and 
while he was talking with some friends in the next room, they 
heard a noise as of wind and waves. At once they went to look 
what the matter was, and discovered a lizard {tokage, ^ ^ -y* , 
litt. "little stone-dragon") running from the bowl to the stone, 
which it entered*. 

Two "snake-producing stones" {sho-ja-seki, ^'^^)^ were 
found in a hole at Kyoto in 1762, and in 1780 a "golden snake 
stone" (^t'fe^) was picked up in the mountains by a child. 
Water was constantly flowing out of it, till it was cooked and 
the dragon inside was killed. Then it was split and the dead 
body ■ of a little gold-coloured snake was found in it ^. 

Although they were not dragon's eggs, we may mention here 
two stones which were believed to be connected with dragons. 
One of them was a big stone lying in a hollow excavated by a 
waterfall near Kayao village, Tnukami district, Omi. province. 



1 Ibidem. 2 ^ i^ 't ^-j a kangakusha who lived iQiQ — 1705. 

3 Unkonshi kohen, Ch. II, p. 8. 4 Ibidem, Oh. II, p. 10. 

5 Ibidem, Ch. II, p. 12. 6 Ibidem, Ch. Ill, p. 7. :. 

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which was said to belong to the Dragon-god of the place and 
was called "Dragon-god- stone" in§,W^' Ryujin-seki) hy the 
villagers. In the Kyoho era (1716—1735) five or six men came 
to the neighbouring villages and asked the inhabitants to sell 
them woman's hair in order to make a rope by means of which 
they might carry the stone as an offering to the Dragon-god of 
Seta. A short time afterwards the stone actually disappeared, 
but it was much too heavy to have been carried away by human 
hands (probably the men in question were transformed dragons) '. 
The second stone, which was black and about three shaku long, 
lay in a garden and was said to cause even a clear summer 
sky to become cloudy in a moment, when it was touched by 
somebody. In 1764 the stone was no longer outside, but within 
the castle, so that the experiment could not be made any more. 
''Perhaps", says Hotta, the author of the Sanshu hidan, "it is a 
so-called 'cloud-root' {'^i^, un-kon)" ^. 

We find the following details in the Shosan chomon kishu (1849) '. 
The abbot of a Shingon monastery had a so-called dragon-gem 
(^ y ^, ryu no tavia), which was considered to be an un- 
commonly precious object. On cloudy days it became moist at 
once, and when it rained it was quite wet. In reality it was 
not a dragon-gem, but a dragon's egg [ryu no tamago, ^ y J^|i|). 
Such eggs are hatched amid thunderstorm and rain; then they 
destroy even palaces and uproot big trees, and it is therefore 
advisable to throw them away before-hand on a lonely spot in 
the moifntains. The abbot, however, deemed it not necessary to 
take this precaution with the dragon's egg in his possession, 
because it was dead. "Thirty years ago", he said, "the egg 
became moist as soon as the weather was a little cloudy, and 
its luster was magnificent; but as it afterwards did not show 
moistness any more even on rainy days, nor grew any longer, 
it is evidently dead". Miyoshi Shosan (the author) himself went 
to the monastery to see this wonderful egg, and gives a picture 
of it . (p. 573), which shows the dragon-fetus inside. Its dimen- 
sions were: length, 4 sun, 8 bu; breadth, 4 sun, 6 bu; it was 
like a " diamond-natured thunder-axe-stone" (3S;MM^'5' 
gyohu-shitsu rai-fu-seki, called by the people Tengu no ono, 



1 Ibidem, Ch. II, p. 13. 

2 Sanshu kidan, Ch. IV, p. 788. 

^ ^ Uj ^ ^ W ^' '*^""®" '" ""^^^ ^y ^^°^^^ ^*' ^''"■'™' ^ l-U ^ 

rp A ; Zoku Teikoku bunko, Vol. XLVII, Kinsei kidan zenshQ. Ch. IV, pp. 572 seqq. 



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819 

5^ ^^ y ^, or "Tengu-axe"), but it seemed to be still harder 
and sharper than these. Its colour was red, tinged with bluish 
grey, just like the thunder-axe-stones, but its lustre was more 
like that of glass than is the case with the latter. There were 
some spots on the egg, which Shosan considered to be dirt left 
on it by the dragon which produced it. 

§ 3. Thunder-stones. 

In tbe same monastery there was a so-called * thunder-jeweV 
(M y 3£> i^^i Jio tama, or ^3S> i*3,i-gyoku), which in 1796 
had fallen from the sky during a heavy thunderstorm, when the 
lightning struck a spot near Haseda. Its colour was white, tinged 
with a slight bluish grey, just like cornelian or marble. Such 
thunderstories were called "thunder-axes'''' (raifu, H' ^), "thunder- 
knives'''' i^ yj , raito), "thunder-hammers''^ (rai tsui, ^;^), "thun- 
der-blocks'' (ff ^j raitan), "thunder-rings'" (§^, raikwan), 
"thunder-pearls'' (^^j raishu), "thunder-pillars" (H'?|t^,rai- 
ketsu), "thunder-ink" (raiboku, H* ^), "thunder-swords" (raiken, 
^ ^Ijj "thunder-pins" (raisan, H" ^), and so on. They are found 
in spots' struck by lightning. The black ones are thunder-axes, 
those which are white, tinged with blue, are thunder-rings, the 
purple ones, tinged with red, are thunder-pins. If it is neither 
stone nor earth, but a lump as of lacquer, it is thunder-ink. The 
above-mentioned specimen was, in Shosan's opinion, a kind of 
thunder-pearl '. 

We learn from this passage that the prehistoric stone weapons 
and utensils were considered by the Chinese (for all these names 
were borrowed from Chinese works), and in imitation thereof by 
the Japanese, as thunderbolts; this is the same conception which 
we find everywhere among primitive peoples. Also meteors, of 
course, are believed to have been thrown by lightning upon the 
earth, or to be fallen stars. As to the dragon, his connection 
with rain and thunder is evidently supposed to begin long before 
his birth and to show itself in a terrible way as soon as he is born. 



1 Cf. DE Groot, Religiom System of China, Vol. V, p. 866, where the "thunderbolt 
stones" (jffi ^ i|rS)' "thunder-nodules" {^ ^, cf the ;j^ of the Japanese text) 
are said to be believed to remove the effects of Aw-poison. On the next page de Groot 
mentions' thunder-hammers, thunder-awls, thunder-axes (supposed to have been used 
by the God of Thunder to split up things), thunder-rings (lost by that god) and 
thunder-pearls, 

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CHAPTER VIII. 

THE TATSUMAKI (^|^), OR "DRAGOn's ROLl". 

The works of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries explain 
the heavy whirlwinds which cause the so-called water-spouts 
and in, a moment destroy the products of human hands' or 
whatever they may light upon, to be the work of dragons ascen- 
ding to heaven. Accordingly the enormous columns of water, 
thrown up into the air by these whirlwinds, are called ."tatsu- 
makV or "dragon's rolls". 

§ i. Dragons wMch ascended to heaven. 

Apart from the tatsumaki we may refer to two passages in 
the Tuhd meisho ryaku (1697) where dragons are said to"" have 
a,scended to the sky. The first passage ' treats of the name of 
Tatsuta, the place where the. Wind-god was worshipped from 
times immemorial^, which name it ascribes to the fact that a 
dragon arose to heaven there; It was the Thunder-god .himself, 
who in thie shape of a boy had fallen down on Tatsuta yama 
(Higuri district, Yamato province), thirty or forty cho south-west 
from Nara. A peasant adopted the child and educated it, and 
from that time wind and rain were very favourable to that 
special village. Afterwards the child changed into a dragon and 
flew to the sky. 

The second passage ' explains the name of Sennin-zuka, ( fjl] 
J^^, or "sien's grave") in Narumi village, Aichi district, 
Owari province, to be the spot where in remote ages a Chinese 
sien (sennm), . who floating on a tree had arrived on this shore, 
lived for a long time till he finally became a dragon and rose 
to heaven. His soul was worshipped in the "Heavenly Dragon's 
shrine" (jTenryii no miya, 3^^^), erected close to the spot 
where he had lived. 



4 Ch. Ill, p. 1-5. 2 Cf. above, Book II, Ch. Ill, § 4, p. 153. 

3 Ch. VIII, p. 47. 



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221 

The Wakan sansai zue (1713)' describes how on lake Biwa a 
man saw a little snake, about one shaku long, which came 
swimming to the shore, climbed upon the water-rushes, danced 
about, came down again and swam about on the surface of the 
water, whereupon it several times repeated the same movements. 
Gradually the snake became longer and longer, till it reached 
the length of about one jo (10 shaku); then it ascended to the 
sky, which in the meantime was covered with black clouds. It 
became pitchdark, so that only the dragon's tail was visible, 
and a shower of rain fell down till the dragon had entered the 
sky, which then became as clear as before. "The climbing upon 
the rushes and dancing about", says the author, "was probably a 
preparatory exercise for ascending to , heaven". 

§ 2. Tatsumaki in Yedo ^. 

The Ichiwa ichigen ^ makes mention of a tatsumaki which in 
1735 arose in the vicinity of the Detached Palace in Shiba 
district, in the Yedo bay, and destroyed the roofs of many houses 
in Kyobashi and Nihonbashi districts; at the same time a heavy 
rain came down and it became pitch-dark. 

In the Kwansei era (1789 — 1800) there was in Yedo a Buddhist 
priest who went about and predicted that soon a dragon was 
to ascend, to heaven in a heavy tempest, reason why he advised 
the people to stay indoors. When a samurai asked him how he 
knew this beforehand, the priest answered: ''I know this from 
experience. Always when the sky has been clear for a long time 
and it suddenly begins to rain, as is now the case, a dragon 
ascends". "Are you perhaps the dragon yourself?" asked the 
samurai, and when the priest answered in the affirmative, he 
requested him to rise to the sky at once. "I cannot do so", 
replied the bonze, "because I have no water". "No water?" 
exclaimed the other, "there is plenty of water in the river' near 
by!" "That is of no use to me", remarked the priest, '^for that 
is flowing water and what I want is heavenly water, (rain)". 
"WeU, then I will give you some rainwater", said the samurai. 



1 Ch. XLV (f|4'g^).P-^73. ,;;, .:;. 

2 1 use the old way of transcribing this name instead' of "Ecio", because the name 
of Yedo has become familiar to all readers of the older works on Japan. . 

3 — i3& — ■#' written by Uta Nampo, -j^ ffl .^ fflX (^t*^-^^^^)' ^'^■ 



XL, p. 41. 



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222 

and lie gave him a bottle of ink-stone water (used for wetting 
the suzuri). The priest took it and went away rejoiced, declaring 
that he now would mount to the sky. Actually a few days later 
a violent thunderstorm suddenly broke forth, accompanied by 
heavy rains and wind. When it abated, the trees and the grass 
had become quite black. The samurai alone knew the reason 
thereof: it was the ink- water which he had given to the priest, 
who had used this in rising to the clouds. The author of the 
Miyakawasha mampitsu ' heard this tale from the samurai's son, 
to whom his father had told it. 

In 1744 a tidal wave which destroyed a little Shinto shrine 
near Yedo bay, as well as several houses and trees in Tedo, 
killing a large number of people, was ascribed to a dragon ^. 

Another tatsumaki happened in the Temmei era (1781 — 1788), 
when a dragon arose from the famous Shinobazu pond in Ueno 
(Tedo). A black cloud arose from the pond and destroyed the 
houses in the vicinity. This is stated by Ogawa Kendo ' in his 
Jinchodan *, who adds that such a dragon often ascends on 
summer days in the seas of Sado, Echigo and Etchu provinces. 
"Then there descends", he says, "a black cloud from the sky, 
and the water of the sea, as a reversed waterfall, rises whirling 
about and joins the cloud. Tradition says that a dragon passes 
from the water into the cloud ... On considering the fact that 
a dragon rose from the Shinobazu pond we arrive at the con- 
clusion that dragons lie at the bottom even of small ponds and 
that the water, according to the weather, rises and a cloud 
comes down, so that heaven and earth come into connection 
and the dragon can ascend to the sky". 

§ 3. Tatsumaki on the sea. 

In 1796 four fisherboats sank and the crews all perished when 
-pursuing a whale in the sea near Kashima no ura in Hitachi 
province. They were caught by a "dragon's roll" which all of a 



^ ^ ill '^ M ^' ^""^" '" ^^^^ ^y MlYAKAWA SeIUN, ^ j|| i|l^ j|| ; 

Cli. V, p. 13. 

2 Mado no siisami, ^^ ^ ^S 4h ^fe, "written by Matsuzaki Gyoshin, i^ 
(Jf^ ^ g (1681—1753), Onchi sosho, Vol. VII, p.. 130. 

3 ^h )\\ m M:- 

4 ^ ^ ^, written in 1814; Onchi sosho, Vol. IX, p. 12. 



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223 

sudden covered the sky with dark clouds and made the surface 
of the sea quite black '. 

In the Shosan chomon kishu ^ a sea-otter which rose up from 
the sea into a black cloud and ascended to the sky, is said to 
have done so in the same way as the "dragon-snakes" use to 
fly to heaven. The incident is described as follows. In a clear 
sky suddenly a black cloud appeared which in -a moment covered 
the sea. A heavy storm stirred up the waves and raised the sand, 
the rain fell down in torrents and the mountains shook. A hunter 
saw a mysterious creature rise from the sea into the cloud and 
fly to the sky. At once with a thundering noise the cloud came 
straight in the hunter's direction, and he saw a dazzling light 
in the middle of it. When he hit the cloud with a bullet, it 
was dissolved, the rain stopped and the storm abated. A few 
days later a big sea-otter was found dying on the shore, with 
the bullet in its eye. 

On the next page the author quotes the Koji inenshu ^ which 
states that in the sea of Iwami fishes ascend to the sky and 
become "fish-dragons" ( J| ^1)? ^^^ ^^ '^ ^ote we find the remark 
that "there, are several thousands of dragons, messengers of the 
divine sennin (^^^[11), and among these are 'fish-dragons' and 

'otter-dragons' (|JJ ^, datsu-ryu), which can assume all kinds 
of shapes" *. 

A curious way of driving away a tatsumaki is described in 
the Yuhisai sakki^. A dark cloud came down upon a vessel sailing 
from Tedo in a western direction, and the sailors were afraid 



1 Hiloyo-hdnashi, "Tales of one night", -written in 1810 by Maki Bokusen, i^ 
g -^ ; Ch. II, p. 9. 

2 Ch. II, p. 460; concerning this work of. above p. 218, note 3. 

^ iScfi^ ^ Wi ^' ^y ^" unknown author; probably a work of the tokugawa 
period. 

4 A "dog-dragon" (^6l a^)' ^ ^'""^ °^ '^°'^' which, living under the ground, 
haunted houses and devoured old women, is spoken of in the Sanshu kidan (Ch. II, 
pp. 732 seqq., cf. Ti'ansactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Vol. XXXVII, Part I, 
p. 32); and "gold-dragons" (;^ ^) were, together with "spiritual foxes" (^ ^) 
shown to the public by a sorcerer in Kyoto {Sanshu kidan, Ch. IV, p. 821).. In Ch. 
Ill (p. 517) of the Shosan chomon ItishU we read that big snakes (especially the so- 
called senja, ^A^*^, ov uwabami), and also small snakes, are a kind of dragons 
which cause rain and wind and ascend to the sky. Snakes all belong to the species dragon. 

5 TS" II ^ ^IJIE' written by Minagawa Kien, ^ j\\ y^ ^, who lived 
1733-1807; quoted in the Toyuki, ]^ j^ |E' written in 1795 by Tachiban A Nan kei 
Mi"^ M; Kohen, 1^ |j| , Ch. Ill, Zoku,Teikoku Bunko, Vol. XX, p. 129. 



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224 

that a dragOD was about to lift up the ship and c^rry it to the 
sky. In order to scare the dragon away they all Qut off their 
hair and burned it. And behold, the terrible smell was apparently 
too much for the dragon, for the. cloud at once dispersed. 

Dragons are fond of money '. Qne day, when a tatsumaM was 
raging,; an empty string of cash fell down ; the coin^ had evidently 
been taken off by the dragon which had then thrown the string 
away. Another time a ship with much money on board was 
attacked by dragons in the form of a fearful storm. It foundered, 
and all . efforts to raise the box of money from the bottom of 
the sea were frustrated by the greedy dragons which caused a 
storm to arise each time when human hands tried to deprive 
them of their prey ^. ■: 

§ 4. Snakes rise as dragons up to the clouds. 

A strange tale is found in the Fude no susabi ^ concerning a 
woman who had a severe headache on a day when a violent 
thunderstorm broke forth. During the tempest a little snake 
came out of her head, fled away through the door and ascended 
to the sky in a black cloud which suddenly came down. 

The Mimi-bukuro ^ relates a legend of a big snake, which lived 
under the verandah of a house and was daily fed^by-the inmates. 
If a girl who was waiting in vain for a husband gave food to this 
snake and prayed to itj her prayer was heard and she soon was 
married. One day, in the thircb month of the second yesir of the 
Temmei era (1782), the animal crept upon the verandah and 
lay there as if it were ill. While the man and his wife were 
carefully nursing it, clouds arose and it rained continuously. 
The snake raised its head and looked up to the sky, when a 
cloud descended upon the garden. Then the animal stretched its 
body and in a heavy rain ascended to the sky. 



1 Of. above Book I, Ch. Ill, § 3, p. 69, with regard to the dragOii's liking for the 
vital spirit of copper. 

' 2 SaiyUki, r§ i^ M^, written in 1797 by the same author as i\\B ToyUki (cf. 
above, p. 223, note 5), Ch. II, p. 259. 

3 ^^ 7 5^, "Pencil sports", written by Kwan Chasan, *g* ^ [Jj , who lived 
1747— 1827; Hyakka setsurin, Vol, jE_t,,p. 177. 

4 ~Si ^, written in 1815 by Fojiwara Morinobu, |^ j^ ^ ^ Shidaikisho, 
_Pg -^.^ § , nr 4, p. .11,. Ch, I, 



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CHAPTER IX. 

JAPANESE, CHINESE AND INDIAN DRAGONS IN GEOGRAPHICAL, 
TEMPLE AND PRIEST NAMES. 

In the preceding chapters we often have mentioned mountains 
and temples called after a dragon which was said to live there 
or to have appeared at the time when the temple was built. 
There are a large number of similar names to be found throughout 
Japan, which are given in Yoshida Togo's Dai Nihon chimei jisho, 
or "Geographical Lexicon of Japan'' '. The following details are 
derived from this work. 

§ 1. The Japanese dragon (tatsu). 

Tatsu no huchi, or "Dragon's mouth'' (^| P or J^ P ) is a 
very frequent name. It is e. g. given to a hot spring in Nomi 
district, Kaga province ^, to a little waterfall in Kojimachi district, 
Tokyo ', to a hill in Kamakura district, Sagami province *, to a 
dike in Kuji district, Hitachi province *, and to two mountains 
in Bizen and Rikuzen provinces •*. On the hill of this name in 
Kamakura district criminals were put to death during the Kama- 
kura period, and it is famous on account of the legend concerning 
Nichiren's miracle, whose life was saved because the sword refused 
to cut off his holy head. Tradition said that a hill was formed 
by the dead body of a dragon whose mouth was on this spot 
and who in olden times had inhabited a large lake near- by '. 
Even in the Anei era (1772—1780) a five-headed dragon was 
worshipped there in a little Shinto shrine ^ and still nowadays 
a "Shinto temple of the Dragon's Mouth" {Tatsu no kuchi no sha, 



2 p. 1912. 3 P. 2884. 4 P. 2715. 

5 p'_ 3731. 6 Pp. 921 and 4208. 

7 Enoshima engi, '}l.\% ^ ^ (*'">« ^'^^ ^"'^'^'"' unknown), quoted by Yoshida, 
1.1., p. 2715. 

8 Nichiren chugwasan, Q M li ffl M ' '^^°^^'^ ibidem. 

Verb. Kou. Akad. v. ^''^^'^^^kBeHfyiiMof/h™^' ^° ^^ ^' 



226 

hI P jjtt) is to be found on this spot, while a Buddhist shrine 
of the Nichiren sect, called RyUkd-dera (^| p ^), proves how 
the Buddhists adopted the old belief \ On the afore-said mountain 
in Rikuzen a big rock in the shape of a dragon's head is worshipped 
in a Shinto temple, called "Tatsu no kuchi jinja", or 'Shrine of 
the Dragon's mouth". ^ 

^ Tatsu ga liana ^ ("Dragon's nose") is the name of a cliff in 
Omi province, Sakata district, Tatsu-kushi* ("Dragon's skewer") 
that of a rock in Tosa province, Hataya district. Tatsu-yama ^ 
("Dragon-mountains") are found in Harima, Innan district, and 
in Owari, Higashi Kasuga'i district; a Tatsu-ko-yama'^ ("Little 
dragon- mountain") is mentioned in Hitachi, Taga district, and 
Tatsu-zaki ' ("Dragon's capes"), in Shimozuke, Sarushima district, 
and in Iwashiro, Ishikawa district. In Mutsu province, Higashi 
Tsugaru district, we find a Tatsu-bama-zaki^ ("Dragon-beach-cape"), 
also called Tatsubi-zaki'^ ("Dragon's flight-cape"), and in Shinano, 
Saku district, a Tatsu-oka '° ("Dragon-mound"). Further, a Tatsu- 
no^^ ("Dragon-field"), also called Tatsu no ichi^'^ ("Dragon-market") 
is to be found in Shinano, Ina district, and another Tatsu no ichi 
in Yamato, Soe no kami district, where a Shinto-god, Tatsu no 
ichi Myojin, is worshipped. In Harima, liho (or Iho) district, 
there is a Tatsu-no " with an old castle of this name, built by 
Mtta Yoshisada in 1334. Finally, we find villages called Tatsuta^* 
(Dragon-ricefield) in Higo province, Akutaku district, and in 
Yamato, Ikoma district. Near the latter place is the well-known 
ancient Shinto shrine called Tatsuta jinja '^, which is dedicated 
to the Wind-god and where prayers are offered up for wind and 
rain. Also a Mount Tatsuta '", in the same vicinity, may be 
mentioned, as well as a river, called Tatsuta-gawa ". On the 
afore-said Tatsu-yama in Owari stood an old Buddhist temple of 



1 YosHiDA, p, 2715. 2 YosHiDA, p. 4208. 

3 fl ^, p. 558. ^ fi $ ' P- ^364. 

5 f I li( , pp. 861 and 2272. 6 || .ly. ^J , p. 3743. 

8 f|^;^Hlf,P-4752. 9 fl^Ul^. 

10 fl |Sj , p. 2434. H J^ 1^, p. 2364. 

12 fl-rfj. 13 fl^.p. 894. 

14 f I gg , pp. 1671 and 229. 

15 Cf. above, Book II, Oh. Ill, § 1, p. 153, and Book II, Ch. VIII, § 1, p. 220. 

16 P. 230. 17 P. 228. 

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227 

the Tendai sect, called "RyUsenji' ("Dragon-spring- temple"), which 
was said to have been built by a Dragon-king in one night; the 
original Japanese dragon-god of the mountain was probably 
identified with a Naga by the Tendai priests. On the "Dragon's 
cape' in Iwashiro there is a waterfall (the favourite abode of 
dragons), and a Bodhi-tree is evidence of Buddhist domination 
in later times. 

By far the greater part of these names is found in Central 
Japan, and they are rare in the South and the North I 

§ 2. The Chinese and Indian dragons (ryu or ryo). 

A. Names of mountains. 

The mountains are called RyU-zan or Ryo-zan ^ (in Iwashiro 
and Uzen ; near the latter is a place called "Sacred Tail" *, which 
probably means a dragon's taiP; Ryu ga mine^ ("Dragon's peak", 
in Higo, resembling a lying dragon, and in Hida) ; Ryu no (or ga) 
saki ' ("Dragon's cape", with a Buddhist "Blue Dragon temple", 
Seiryuji^, in Tosa, and another, in the vicinity of which is a 
Buddhist shrine called Kinryuji'^, or "Gold-dragon-temple", in 
Hitachi); Ryu (or Ryo) ga take^° ("Dragon's peak", in Ise and 
Uzen); Ryuzu-zaki ^^ ("Dragon's head cape", in Tosa); Uyuten- 
yama '^ ("Dragon-Deva mountain", in Bizen); Ryu-o-zan '' ("Dragon- 
king's mountain, in Bichu, with a little Shinto shrine '*, dedicated 
to the Eight Great Dragon-kings, on the top, and two others 
in Kawachi and Sanuki). A Ryu-d-tahe ^■' ("Dragon-king's peak") 
is found in Chikuzen, and a Ryu-zo-san^'^ ("Dragon's claw- 



^ ft ^^'P- 2272. 

2 As to personal names, these are seldom connected with tatsu, except the three 
following : Tatsu ( §§ ), Tatsuki ( ^M -^ , Dragon's tree) and Talsuzane ( ^t 



m 

Dragon's seed). 

3 ^ Uj , PP- 49 and 4393. 

4 jjj^ j^ , Kan-o. 5 Of. above, Book II, Ch. Ill, § 12, p. 177. 

6 -fl ll^, pp- 172i and 2234. 

7 ft flit . pp. 1358, 3571. 



ra m 



#. 9 ^fi#- 



10 fl ^, pp. 606, 4414. 11 fl 4| (l|^' P- 1353. 

12 ft 5^ lij . P- 912. 13 f I ^ [il , PP- 939. 311 and 1256. 

14 Cf. above, Book II, Ch. Ill, § 12, p. 176. 

^5 fl i #J' P- 1^52. 16 f I ;i; lil , P- 4455. 

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228 

mountain") in Suruga, with a temple of Ryti-zo Gongen ', 
"Manifestation of Ryu-zo", "Dragon's receptacle (womb)", the 
Buddhist name given to the, probably dragon-shaped, mountain- 
god. Near Ryu-oka^ ("Dragon's hill") village, in Igo province, 
there is a mountain where in olden times a Buddhist priest is 
said to have successfully prayed for rain. In Hitachi there is 
on Ryujinsan^ ("Dragon-god's mountain") an old Shinto shrine of 
a Dragon-god, and in Kii we find a Ryuvion-zan * ("Dragon- 
gate-mountain"). 

B. Names of springs, waterfalls and rivers. 

A hot spring in Kii, famous for its curative powers, is called 
the "Spring of the Dragon-god" {Ryujin-sen) ^. In Osumi, Yamato 
and Higo we find "Dragon-gate waterfalls" (Rymion-daki) °, and 
in Shimozuke a "Dragon's head waterfall" {Ryuzu-dahi) '. The 
ancient Chinese considered the dragon to be so closely connected 
with waterfalls that they indicated these by means of the character, 
"dragon", combined with the radical "water" (yfl). Rivers called 
after dragons are the Ryuge-gawa ^ ("Dragon-flower river", also 
pronounced Tatsu-bana-gawa) in Kawachi, the Tenryu-gawa ^ 
("Heavenly Dragon's river") in Shinano and Totomi, and the 
Ryukan-gawa '" ("Dragon's rest river") in Tokyo. 

C. Names of islands, valleys and places. 

Two "Dragon's islands" {Ryu ga shima, or Ryu-shima) " may 
be mentioned, one in Echigo, the other in Awa; and a "Dragon- 
king's valley" (RyU-o-dani) '^, in Buzen. Also place names as 



1 Sj^ 3^ j^ JB ; deities of the same name are worshipped in two Shinto temples , 



in Uzen and Kii (pp. 4455 and 754). 

2 fl |Sj , p. 1295. 

3 11 fi$ \h ' P- 3619. 

4 fl P^ |i| : P- 701; cf. above, Book II, Ch. IV, § 12, p. 194. 

5 flf^^'P '39. 

6 ^1 p^ y||, pp. 1781, 290, 1652; cf. above. Book II, l.I. 
*](S TTS -ja. r, ?!?;-l7 s ^i 



7 fl 4| ^, p. 3517. 8 fl ^ jll , p. 327. 

9 ^ fl jll - PP- 2361, 2505, cf. above. Book II, Ch. V, § 7, p. 203 

10 fl P^ )\\ , p. 2886. 11 fl .^, pp. 2073, 3144. 

12 fl ^:^, P- 1418- 

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229 

Ryu-mai^ ("Dragon's dance"), in Kozuke; Eyu-o'^ ("Dragon-king"), 
in Buzen and Kai; Ryu-toku^ ("Dragon's virtue"), in Chikuzen; 
RyU-ge^ ("Dragon's flower"), in Omi, and RyU-ge^ ("Dragon's 
hair") in Ugo, are evidence of the Chinese and Indian dragon's 
great popularity in Japan. 

D. Names of Buddhist temples. 

Among the names of Buddhist temples connected with the dragon 
Ryuzoji'^ ("Dragon's receptacle (womb) (or hiding) temple"), Ryu- 
seriji'' ("Dragon's spring temple"), Ryitkoji^ ("Dragon's rise temple") 
and RyUmonji'^ ("Dragon's gate temple") are the most frequent. 
Further, we find temples of the Dragon's horn {RyUkakuji '°), 
belly {Ryufukuji"), mouth {Ryukdji^"^) and head {Ryotdji ^^). 
Moreover, mention is made of temples of the Dragon's cloud 
(Ryuunji'^), pool {Ryuenji ^^ and Ryutanji "^), sea {Ryukai-in ^''), 
valley (Ryukeiji^^), spring {Ryugenji^'^), river {Ryusenji^"), palace 
(Ryuguji^^), canopy {Ryugaiji'^'^), flower (Ryugeji^^), treasure {Ryu- 
hdji^^), felicity {Ryufukuji'^'^), rest {Ryuanji^'^ and Ryuonji'^''), 



^ Hi 



m 
m 
m 
m 

m 

At 
m 

ni 

ni 



3 flli'P'1^54. 
5 f I % , P- 4597. 



#. 



^• 



H, p. 3370. 

^, pp. 1418, 2443. 

^, p. 496. 

dO ^1 -^ ^, in Shimosa, p. 3235. 
in Shimosa, p. 3244, cf. above, Book II, Ch. Ill, p. 177. 
in Sagami, p. 2715. 13 f | ^ ^ ' i" Uzen, p. 4509. 

in Iwami and Shinano, pp. 1072, 2481. 
in Musashi, p. 118. 16 ^ '/p ^ , in Omi, p. 2488. 

in Mikawa and Shimozuke, pp. 2316, 3350. 
in Kazusa, p. 3176. 19 f| v]^ ^ . i" Rikuzen, p. 4205. 









20 
22 
23 
24 



m 



25 tl 

26 f I 









21 



n Yamato, p. 305. 

n Yamato, p. 262. 

n Suruga, p. 2555. 

n Rikuzen and Tokyo, pp. 4098, 2962, 

n Suwo, p. 1172. 

n Yamato, p. 103. 



^, in Chikuzen, p. 1505. 



97 ^ J^ ^ f K^ ). in Musashi and Iwasliiro, pp. 3034, 3870. 



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230 

prosperity (Ryutaiji^), correctness (Ryusho-in^), majesty {Ryu- 
gonji ^), a. s, o. 

E. Names of Buddhist priests. 

Buddhist priests often have similar names; especially Ryuzan* 
("Dragon's mountain") and Ryushu^ ("Dragon's islet") are frequent. 
Further, we find Ryusui^ ("Dragon's water"), RyUsen'' ("Dragon's 
river"), Ryutaki^ (Dragon's waterfall), Ryuchi'^ ("Dragon's pond"), 
Ryu-en^^ and Ryushu^^ ("Dragon's pool"), Ryushin'^^ ("Dragon's 
depth"), RyUsho^^ ("Dragon's islet"), Ryuden-^^ ("Dragon's rice-field"), 
Ryuto^'" ("Dragon's ascending"), RyuJio^'^ ("Dragon's peak"), Ryubi'^'^ 
("Dragon's i&W), Ryuniin^^ ("Dragon's sleep"), a. s. o. The large 
number of the names referred to in this chapter is strong evidence 
of a fact which also the legends have taught us, i. e. of the 
great popularity of all three kinds of dragons, Japanese, Chinese 
and Indian, in old Japan. 



1 ^1 ^ ^ ' in Minoi P- 2205. 2 ^| jE |^ i '" Shimosa, p. 3229. 

3 f I M 4 ' '" Uzen, p. 4504. 4 f mj . 5 f | ^j|,| . 

^ma^- 'fi;ii- ^mm- ^mm- 

'^ mm- '^mm- ^'^m-M- ^^mm- 



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CHAPTER X. 

Conclusions. 

The preceding chapters have shown once more how great 
China's influence was upon Japanese legend and superstition 
from the beginning of the spreading of Chinese civilisation in 
the Land of the Rising Sun until the present day. We have 
also seen how Buddha's powerful doctrine brought the Indian 
Nagas to the Far-Eastern seas and rivers and ponds, as it peopled 
the Japan:6se mountains and woods with their deadly enemies, 
the Grarudas. The idea of serpent-shaped semi-divine kings, living 
in great luxury in their magnificent palaces at the bottom of 
the water, wa's strange to the Chinese and Japanese minds; but 
the faculty of these beings of assuming human shapes and 
bestowing rain upon the thirsty earth, as well as their nature 
of water-gods, formed the links between the Nagas of India and 
the dragons of China and Japan. The Chinese Buddhists identified 
the Indian serpents . with the four-legged dragons of China, and 
this blending of ideas was easily introduced into the minds of 
the Japanese people, which did not hesitate to associate their 
own, mostly serpent-shaped, gods of rivers and mountains with 
the Western deities of the same kind. 



In the Introduction we have seen that the Nagas were, as a 
rule, favourably disposed towards Buddhism, but that they were 
dangerous creatures on account of their quick temper, deadly 
poison and great magic power. They possessed numberless jewels 
and mighty charms, which they bestowed upon those to whom 
they were grateful and who often stayed for a while in the splendid 
Naga palaces at the bottom of ponds, or rivers, or s eas. The 
TlafiaySfiar'scEoor speaks of eight Great Dragon-kings, mightier 
than the others, one of whom, Sagara, was well-known as a 
bestower of rain. The rain-giving faculty of the Tl^agas, which is 
not mentioned in the Jatakas, was apparently more emphasized 
in Northern than in Southern Buddhism. According to the original 
conceptions these semi-divine serpents, who had their abode in 
Patala land, beneath the earth, could raise clouds and thunder or 



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232 

appear as clouds themselves to terrify mankind. Northern Bud- 
dhism , however, made these frightful beings the rain-giving 
benefactors of men, to whom prayers for rain were sent up by 
means of special ceremonies. These rites were performed also in 
China and Japan. As to the division of the Nagas into four 
castes: "Heavenly, Divine, Earthly and Hidden Nagas", this is 
probably also a Northern feature, for I did not find it mentioned 
anywhere in the Jatakas. Indian Buddhist art represents the 
Nagas as serpents, or as men or women with snakes coming 
out of their necks and rising over their heads, or as snake- 
tailed beings with human upper bodies and snakes appearing 
above their heads. Hot winds and hot sand, sudden violent 
storms and Garuda-kings are what the Nagas fear most. When 
strictly observing Buddhist fasting, they may be reborn as men. 

In Book I we have stated how the oldest Chinese books spoke 
of dragons in divination, as ornaments of clothes, and as river- 
gods who caused high floods by their fights. As they belonged 
to the four ling ("spiritual beings"), full of Tang (Light), they 
were omens of the birth of great men, especially of emperors, 
and of felicity in general, like the dragon-horses, but also of 
death and ruin, when they were seen fighting, or when their 
dead bodies were found, or when they appeared at wrong times 
or in wrong places. The Emperors were not only called dragons 
and compared to them, but were sometimes even considered to 
be their offspring, or to have them in their service. The dragons 
ascended to the sky, riding on winds -and clouds, and were ridden 
by the sien, or they descended into the deepest wells. Their 
transformations were limitless. They could become small like 
silkworms or so big that they covered the world '. Their wisdom 
excelled that of all other animals, and their blessing power was 
great. Next to these ideas, which made them the favourite sub- 
jects of poets and artists, a great many lower concepjtions are 
found, prevalent among the people from olden times. 

The principal water-god is the kiao-lung, the scaly dragon; 
other important dragonB are the ying-lung (which has wings), 
the ¥iu-lung (which has a horn) and the cJii-lung (which is blue 
and has no horn). Then, there are several other kinds of dragons, 
but all of them are afraid of iron, the loang plant, centipedes, the 
leaves of the melia azederach, and five-coloured silk-thread, while 
their principal / enemies are tigers and the demons of drought 



1 This must be the meaning of Kwan tsze 's words (quoted on p. 63), instead of 
the obscure "lies hidden in the world". 



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233 

who devour them. They are fond of b'eautiful gems, hollow stones 
with water inside (or the vital spirit of copper) and swallow- 
flesh. Male and female dragons are different in shape. As the 
dragon is very lewd, he copulates with all kinds of animals 
and in this way produces nine different classes of young, which 
according to their nature are represented as ornaments. 

Causing rain is the Chinese dragon's most important function, 
and he is compelled to do so by mankind by several magical 
means, especially by making clay images of dragons (and laying 
them in water), or by throwing poisonous plants or bones of the 
tiger (his deadly enemy) into his pools, or by annoying him by 
a terrible noise, or by using utensils adorned with dragons when 
praying for rain. The dragons are called the "Rain-Masters", 
and rain is prayed for in front of their holes. 

They transform themselves into old men, beautiful women, 
and fishes, or sometimes assume the shapes of trees and objects, 
as e. g. swords. They have a pearl under their throats or in 
their mouths. As to their e^gs, these are beautiful stones to 
be found in the mountains, or at the riverside ; water is con- 
stantly dripping from these stones till they split and a small 
snake appears, which in a very short time grows larger and 
larger and in the form of a dragon ascends to the sky amid 
thunder, rain and darkness. Hurricanes and whirlwinds are all 
ascribed to ascending dragons. Their bones are considered to be 
a very efficient medicine and their spittle is the most precious 
of perfumes ; their cast-off skins spread a brilliant light. Dragon- 
boats were pleasure-vessels of the Emperors, which had the shape 
of a dragon and the head of a yih bird ; quite different, however, 
are the dragon-boats of the water festival of the fifth day of the 
fifth month, which are probably intended as sympathetic magic to 
obtain rain. As to Buddhism, this introduced into China legends 
concerning tranformation into dragons after death. Dragon-kings 
and palaces, a. s. o. 

The first chapter of Book II, in which I treated of the original 
Japanese dragon, mentioned no later dates than the tenth cen- 
tury (Unffishiki). Even the eighth century adorned her legends 
with Chinese and Indian features, as we saw in the tale of 
Toyotama-bime and Hiko-hohodemi. This was very easily done 
because the Japanese sea and river-gods, having the shape of a 
dragon or a serpent, resembled the Chinese lung or the Indian 
Nagas. It is no wonder that the simple, rain-bestowing Japanese 
gods of rivers and seas, mountains and valleys, owing to their 
shapes were identified with and superseded by the similar but 

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234 

more fantastic Chinese and Indian gods of water and rain. The 
" water-fathers" {mizucM), dragon-shaped river-gods who, just like 
the Chinese dragons, hindered men when constructing embankments 
but were pacified by human sacrifices instead of, as in China, 
being driven away by iron, soon had to give way to the Rain- 
masters and Dragon-kings of the West. Gradually foreign elements 
were added to the ancient legends, and their original form became 
hardly recognizable. 

The second chapter shows how all the Chinese conceptions in 
regard to the appearance of dragons and dragon-horses as omens 
were embraced by the Japanese, and preserved by them from 
the ninth century down to the nineteenth. 

In the third chapter the dragon's main function is treated of, 
i. e. the bestowing of rain upon mankind. Among the eighty five 
Shinto shrines to which in times of drought messengers were 
despatched by the Court, there were many dragon-shaped river- 
deities. As to the offerings made to the Shinto river-gods for 
obtaining rain or for causing them to stop a too abundant 
supply of heavenly water, these were hemp and fibre, black, 
white or red horses (the latter only for stopping rain). Yet, even 
the Emperors of as early an age as the eighth century did no 
longer sufiiciently believe in the power of these gods, for at the 
same time Buddhist rites were performed in the three great 
temples of Nara. In the ninth century, especially, the Buddhist 
priests got more and more influence, also in this respect, and 
the famous "Sacred Spring Park" in KyOto became their special 
territory for praying for rain. Kobo Daishi declared the pond in 
this park to be inhabited by an Indian dragon, and stitras were 
recited on its banks by crowds of bonzes, sometimes to pray to 
the Dragon-king, sometimes to threaten him with persecution 
by his deadly enemy, the Garuda. If they had no success, however, 
the ancient river-gods enjoyed a temporary triumph and were 
elevated to higher ranks. But short was their glory, for soon 
the mighty foreign invaders prevailed once more. Either the 
Chinese dragon which had to be aroused by sounding bells and 
drums, by singing and dancing on a dragon-boat on the pond 
in the Sacred Spring Park (or by being deprived of his element, 
the water), or the Indian Naga-king, were the gods from whom 
the blessing of rain was expected by the Court. The clever monk 
Kukai (Kobo Daishi) knew how to conquer his adversaries, not 
only the Shintoists, but also his rivals among the Buddhist 
priests. This was experienced by the mightiest of his colleagues, 
Shubin, the abbot of the "Western Monastery". Besides prayers. 



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235 

incantations and the recital of sutras a magical image of the 
dragon (which reminds us of the clay dragons of the Chinese) 
was used by Kukai, who strived to spread his doctrine by the 
extraordinarily impressive art of making rain. And his success 
was marvellous. 

Further, we have seen how during the thirteenth century in 
times of drought the Buddhist "Five Dragons Festival" was 
celebrated in the same Sacred Spring Park or somewhere else, 
or sutras were recited before the Dragon-hole on Mount Murobu 
in Yamato, in order to cause the Dragon-king who lived there, 
to give rain. The remarkable fact that a Buddhist priest was 
said to have erected on this spot a Shinto shrine for the Indian 
dragon seems to indicate that the Naga had taken the place of 
a Shinto dragon, a mountain god believed to live in the hole 
from ancient times. In the same century horses were still offered 
by the Emperors to the famous rain-gods of Nibu (the "Rain- 
Master") and Kibune, white ones to obtain, and red ones to stop 
rain. And the Court oflBcials themselves went to the Sacred Spring 
Park and prayed to the * Sea-dragon-king", at the same time 
performing "sympathetic magic" by sprinkling water on the 
stones near the pond. Numerous were the miracles wrought by 
Buddhist priests in forcing the dragons to obey their will. In 
later times, however, especially in the eighteenth century, we see 
the Chinese ways of making rain gain ground again. The Chinese 
conception of arousing the anger of these rain-gods by making 
noise or by throwing iron utensils or metal shaving or dirty 
things into their ponds and thus causing them to ascend and 
cause rain, was different from the Shinto idea of praying and 
offering to the river-gods, as well as from the Buddhistic way 
of persuading or forcing the dragons to benefit mankind by 
abundant rains. As I remarked above ', the Chinese methods, 
which got the upper hand in later ages, are still prevalent among 
the Japanese country folks of the present day. 

The fourth chapter gave the Japanese legends concerning 
Indian Nagas (Dragon-kings). As the Indian tales reached Nippon 
via China and Korea, it is quite logical that their Japanese 
imitations showed many Chinese features. Among the eight Great 
Dragon-kings Sagara, who was believed to reside in a splendid 
palace at the bottom of the sea, is the most frequently mentioned. 
Like other Dragon-kings he possesses the "Precious pearl which 
grants all desires" (cintamani). During storms the sailors tried 



1 Book II, Ch. Ill, § 13, p. 178. 

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236 

to pacify the Dragon-kings by throwing all kinds of precious 
objects into the sea, and succeeded if the object which these 
water-gods wanted was offered in time. Ponds, especially moun- 
tain ponds, were very often believed to be the abodes of Dragon- 
kings, who probably in many cases. had' taken the place of 
ancient Japanese d]-agon-shaped gods. Sometimes one of the eight 
kings incarnated himself as some famous Buddhist high-priest, 
or the spirit of a man became a dragon-god. The temple bell 
of Miidera is said to have been obtained by Tawara Toda in a 
Dragon -palace. Azure dragons (a Chinese feature) were often said 
to have appeared on the occasion of the establishment of Bud- 
dhist temples and to have thenceforth been the guardian-gods 
of these shrines '. Sometimes dragon-relics, as for example a few 
scales or a tooth, were preserved among the treasures of a 
Buddhist sanctuary. Finally, eight- and nine-headed dragons were 
spoken of as the inhabitants of mountain lakes, being sometimes 
reincarnations of Buddhist priests ; and down till the Kestoration 
offerings of rice were made by Buddhist priests to the dragons 
of some of those lakes. 

The mighty influence of the Indian and Chinese ideas concerning 
this subject upon the Japanese mind is also shown by the 
way in which these conceptions were applied to ancient Shinto 
gods. In Chapter V some specimens of this have been given, 
which were found in books of the thirteenth and eighteenth 
centuries. In the former the eight-headed serpent, called Tamato 
no oroehi and killed by Susanowo, as well as the unhappy young 
Emperor Antoku who was drowned in the battle of Dan-no-ura 
(1185) and whose spirit is said to be the Shinto god Suitengu, 
are identified with the goddess of Itsukushima, the daughter 
of the Dragon-king Sagara! And the precious Kusanagi sword, 
found in the eight-headed serpent's tail, belonged to this king's 
Dragon-palace, or, according to another legend, was carefully 
guarded by a Dragon-king and brought back to the Atsuta 
shrine, from where it had been stolen. The Thunder-god, accor- 
ding to an old legend caught by Sukaru, was called a "Dragon- 
king" by the author of the Gempei seisuiki (thirteenth century), 
which was all the more plausible because the version of the 
Nihongi spoke of a huge serpent. Further, several old Shinto 
shrines, where probably from olden times snake-, or dragon-shaped 
gods were' worshipped, in later times, in the eighteenth century, 
were considered to have connection with Chinese or Indian 



1 Cf. above, Book II, Ch. VI, pp. 205 sqq. 



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237 

dragons, and even old tree-spirits in snake-form were called 
dragons and said to cause thunderstorms. 

The Dragon-lantern, treated of in the sixth chapter, was not 
mentioned in works dating before the fourteenth century. It 
always rose from the sea, and was mostly a sign of a dragon- 
shaped sea-god's protection of, and reverence towards, a Buddhist 
temple or, in a few cases, of a Shinto sanctuary. The Chinese 
"azure dragon" was often mentioned in these tales, and sometimes 
was said to have been seen carrying the lantern, which neai-ly 
always descended upon some old pine-tree standing near the shrine, 
and hung between its branches. These "dragon-lantern pine-trees" 
remind us of the Chinese ideas of old trees producing ignes fatui. 

The "Dragon's eggs^', beautiful stones picked up in the moun- 
tains, out of which constantly water dripped and which for this 
reason were often used as ink-stones, were dangerous ti'easures 
indeed. For sooner or later they split, and a little snake crept 
out of them, which in a few minutes increased in size and 
finally ascended to the sky as a dragon, breaking through the 
roof and causing a terrible thunderstorm. Book I, Ch. Ill, § 16, 
in connection with Book II, Chapter VII, have shown that this 
is a Chinese conception, introduced into Japan, where it was 
prevalent from the sixteenth century down to the nineteenth. 

Very popular was also the idea of whirlwinds and waterspouts 
being caused by ascending dragons, winding their way to heaven. 
We find this both in China and Japan, in the latter country 
especially from the seventeenth century until the present day. 
The Japanese name "tatsu-maki''' perhaps indicates that it was not 
borrowed from China; but on the other hand the fact that we did 
not find it mentioned in works before the seventeenth century 
causes me to think that the general inclination of these later ages 
towards Chinese conceptions, which we observed also in the methods 
of making rain, may have caused the spreading of this idea too. 

Finally, in the ninth chapter, the geographical names were 
evidence of the original Japanese dragon having been worshipped 
mostly in Central Japan, and of the popularity of the Chinese 
and Indian dragons throughout the Empire. The large number 
of names of Buddhist temples and priests, connected with 
the Indian dragon, showed the important part played by the 
Naga in Japanese Buddhism. 

Herewith 1 conclude this treatise on the dragon in the Far East, 
in the hope that it may throw light upon his complicate nature of 
Indian, Chinese and Japanese god of water, thunder, rain and wind. 



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INDEX 

of the Chinese translations of sutras, vinayas and abhidharmas, 

mentioned in the Introduction. The numbers placed 

within brackets are those of Nanjo's Catalogue of 

the Buddhist Tripitaha; the other figures denote 

the pages of this treatise. 



Ching-fah nien-ch'u king (679), 23. 

Chung king chwen tsah p'^i-yii king (1366), 13. 

Fuh-shwoh hai-lung-wang king (456), 28. 
Fuh-shwoh ta-fang-teng ta-yun ts'^ing-yu king (186), 25. 
Fuh-shwoh ta-kwan-ting shen-cheu king (167), 33. 
Fuh w6i hai-lung-wang shwoh fah-yin king (457), 28. 

Kin-kang kwang-yen chi-fung-yii king, 33. 
Kin-kang pan-joh-po-lo-mih king (10—12), 34. 
Kiu tsah p'^i-yu king (1359), 12. 

Mo-ho-seng-chi luh (1119), 13. 

Ta-chwang-yen king lun (1182), 14. 
Ta-fang-kwang fuh-hwa-yen king (87 sq.), 23. 
Ta-pan-joh-po-lo-mih-to king (1), 34. 
Ta-yun-lun ts'ing-yu king (188), 25. 
Ta-yun ts'ing-yu king (187), 25. 
Tsah p'i-yii king (1368), 13. 

Yoh-shi liu-li-kwang'ju-lai pen-yuen kung-teh king (171), 33. 



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INDEX 

of the Chinese works quoted in this treatise, and the pages 

where particulars about them, or their titles in 

Chinese characters, are given. 



T. S. = K'in-ting ku-ldn t'u-shu tsih-ch'ing (p. 39). 



Chao ye ts'ien tsai, 96. 

Cheh-kiang t'ung-chi, 87. 

Chen chu chw'en, 119. 

Cheu li, 40. 

Ching tsze f^ung, 101. 

Choh.keng luh, 112. 

Chuh shu ki nien, 122. 

Chung king chwen tsah p4-yu king, 13. 

Ch'^u Chang Wen-piao chw'^en, 56. 

Ch'^un chu ki wen, 94. 

Ch'un-ts'^iu fan lu, 115. 

Chwang tsze, 65. 

Fang yen, 73. 
Fei sueh luh, 113. 

Han Fei tsze, 63. 

Han shu, 45. 

Han Wu Ti n6i chw=en, 83. 

Hien ch'^wang kwah i chi, 120. 

Hoh lin yuh lu, 113. 

Hung fan wu hing chw'en, 46. 

Hwai nan tsze, 64. 

Hwai-ngan-fu chi, 129. 

I kien chi, 113. 
I li, 41. 
I ynen, 81. 

Kiang-si t'ung-chi, 113. 

Kin Shi, 48. 

King yen fang, 95. 

K'in-ting ku-kin t'u-shu tsih-ch'^ing, 39. 

Koh chi king yuen, 117. 

Ku kin chu, 122. 

Kwah i chi, 120. 

Kwan tsze, 63. 



Kwang poh wuh chi, 71. 
Kwang-sin-fu chi, 127. 
Kw6i-sin tsah-shih, 49. 
Kwei-sin tsah-shih suh-tsih, 89. 
Kwoh shi pu, 94. 
Kwoh yij, 110. 

Lang hiien ki, 74. 

Lao hioh ngan pih ki, 112. 

Lei kung yao tui, 94. 

Liao shi, 53. 

Li ki, 39. 

Li sao, 77. 

Lieh sien chw'en, 83. 

Loh-yang kia-lan ki, 133. 

Lii-shi Ch'^un-ts'^iu, 64. 

Luh i ki, 87. 

Lun Heng, 114. 

Lung ch'^ing luh, 113. 

Lung fu, 111. 

Mao t4ng k'oh hwa, 93. 
Mih k'oh hwui si, 79. 
Ming i pieh luh, 91. 
Mung k'^i pih fan, 89. 

Nan pu sin shu, 69. 
Nan shi, 132. 
Nan yueh chi, 89. 
Nei tien, 67. 

Pao P"^oh-tsze, 45. 
P'^ao chi lun, 91. 
Pen shi fang, 95. 
Pen-ts'ao kang-muh, 68. 
Pen-ts'ao hui-pien. 



P'ei yuen kwang cheu ki. 



80. 



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240 



Pih ki man chi, H7. 

P'i ya, 65. 

Po-chi kwoh chw'en, 133. 

Poll raung so yen, 129, 

Poll wuh chi, 71. 

Poh ya, 72. 

'Rh ya, 64. 
'Rh ya yih, 64. 

San hwang pen-ki, 57. 

San-ts'^ai t'u-hwui, 57. 

Shan hai king, 62. 

Shan hai king f^u tsan, 62. 

Shan-si t^ung-chi, 89. 

Shang han lun tHao pien, 94. 

Shang shu ku shih, 120. 

Sheu shen ki, 81. 

Sheu shen heu ki, 81. 

Shen sien chw%n, 83. 

Shen-Nung k'^iu-yii shu, 117. 

Shen-Nung Pen-ts'^ao king, 90. 

Shi ki, 50. 

Shi 16i fu, 111. 

Shi lin kwan ki, 92. 

Shih i ki, 43. 

Shih dieu ki, 125. 

Shih-kwoh Ch'un-ts'iu, 124. 

Shing i ki, 71. 

Shu king, 39. 

Shuh i ki, 44. 

Shuh Han shu, 115. 

Shui king,. 66. 

Shui ying t'^u, 57. 

Shwoh yuen, 128. 

Shwoh wen, 110. 

Sin-shi San Ts'in ki, 60. 

Sin T'ang shu, 93. 

Siien shih chi, 59. 

Sii-men ts'ang king, 73. 

Suh wen hien t'ung k'^ao, 90. 

Sui shu, 46. 

Sung-clfao shi shih, 117. 

Sung shu, 54. 

Ta tai li ki, 65. 
T'ai-p'^ing kwang-ki, 59. 
T'ai-p'^ing yti-lan, 58. 



rang Pen-ts'ao, Qi. 

T=ang Sin Pen-ts'ao, 91. 

rien ehung ki, 57. 

rien kia tsah chen, 111. 

Tsah p'i-yii king, 13. 

Ts'ien fu lun, 66. 

Ts'^ien k4oh kii lei shu, 73. 

Ts'ien kin fang, 133. 

Tsin shu, 54. 

Tso ehw'en, 82. 

Tsu f^ing shi yuen, 97. 

Ts'^zS-iiu shi kiu wen, 124. 

Tsze puh yil, 110. 

Tuh i chi, 121. 

Tung kwan han ki, 44. 

Tung-p=o chi-Iin, 129. 

T'ung kien ts'ien pien wai ki, 58. 

T'ung raing ki, 62. 

Wen stien, 84. 

Wen tsze, 77. 

Wen-tsze tsih-lioh, 73. 

Weng yuen hien chi, 119. 

Wen yuen ying hwa. 111. 

Wu ki, 80. 

Wu shi Pen-ts"^ao, 91. 

Wu Ti nei chw%n, 43. cf. 83. 

Wuh tsah tsu, 120. 

Yang kuh man luh, 71. 

Yang yu king, 76. 

Yoh sing pen-ts%o, 92. 

Yih chw'en, 47. 

Yih fei heu, 47. 

Yih king, 35. 

Yih k'^ien tsoh tu, 45. 

Yih lin, 63. 

Yih f^ung chi, 128. 

Yih wei, 39. 

Yih yao, 54. 

Yiu hwan ki wen, 97. 

Yin-yang pien-kwa lin, 67. 

Yiu-yang tsah tsu, 75. 

Yuen kien 16i han, 59. 

Yuh fu shui f^u, 123. 

Yuh hu ts^ing hwa, 79. 

Yun kih ts'ih ts'ien, 117. 

Yun sien tsah ki, 127. 



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INDEX 

of the Japanese works quoted in this treatise, and the pages 

where particulars about them, or their titles in 

Chinese characters, are given. 



K. T. K. =z Kokushi taikei, 135. 



Alnosho, 145. 

Ba-iku-kyo, 150. 
Bukkyo irolia jiten, 22. 
Bungo Fudoki, 136. 
Buzen kokushi, 156. 

Dai Nihon chimei jisho, 169. 

Edo meisho ki, 206. 
Eigwa monogatari, 84. 
Engishiki, 147. 
Enoshima engi, 225. 
Ensei meibutsu kohoi, 207. 

Fude no susabi, 224. 
Fuso ryakki, 146. 

Gempei seisuiki, 165. 
Genko Shakusho, 165. 
Gukwansho, 187. 
Gunsho ruijvi, 135. 
Gwadan keiroku, 151. 

Hamamatsu Ghiinagon monogatari, 84. 
Heishoku wakumonchin, 134. 
Hitoyo-banashi, 223. 
Honcho kwaidan koji, 191. 
Honcho zokugenshi, 203. 
Hyakka setsurin, 135. 
Hyakurensbo, 165. 

Ichiwa ichigen, 221. 
Intel zakko, 193. 



Jigen Daishi den, 207. Ryo-i-ki, 201. 

Jikkinsho, 84. Ryu-an zuihitsu, 

Jinchodan, 222. 

Veih. Kon. Alad. v. "Wetenscli. (Afd. Lelterlc.) N. R. Dl XIII, N°. 2. 

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Kagakushij, 84. 
Kanden jihitsu, 150. 
Kanden kohitsu, 150. 
Kanwa daijiten, 69. 
Kigegawa Yakushi engi, 205. 
Kii zodanshn, 208. 
Kimpisbo, 156. 
Kojidan, 162. 
Koji inenshij, 223. 
Kojiki, 139. 
Kokusbi daijiten, 84. 
Kokushi taikei (K. T. K.), 135. 
Konjaku monogatari, 148. 
Konyo manroku, 151. 

Mado no susami, 222. 
Manyosbn, 136. 
Masu kagami, 148. 
Matsu-no-ya hikki, 175. 
Mimi-bukuro, 224. 
Miyaka-washa raampitsu, 222. 
Mizu kagami, 142. 
Murasaki Shikibu nikki, 84. 

Nambako, 85. 

Nichiren cbijgwasan, 225. 

Nihon sandai jitsuroku, 148. 

Nihongi, 139. 

Nihon issbi, 145. 

Nihon kiryaku, 161. 

Nihon koki,, 144. 

Nihon shiikyo fiizoku shi, 177. 

Oshii-banashi, 212. 



16 



242 



Saiyuki, 224. 

Sandai jitsuroku (Nihon s. j.), 148. 

Sansha takusen ryakusho, 149. , 

Sanshu kidan, 172. 

Sanshu kidan kohen, 174. 

Seki no akikaze, 1 76. 

Shasekisliii, 177. 

Sliinchomonshu, 194. 

Shiojiri, 105. 

Shiseki shuran, 135. 

Shobutsu ruizan, 119. 

Shokoku rijindan, 202. 

Shoku Nihongi, 147. 

Shoku Nihon koki, 145. 

Shosan chomon kishii, 218. 

Taiheiki, 22, 148. 

Tomioka Hachiman shaki, 200. 



To-o kiko, 212. 
Toyuki kohen, 210. 
Toyuki, 223. 

Uji shui monogatavi, 171. 

Unkonshi kohen, 216. 

Usa Hachiman no miya engi, 143. 

Wakan sansai ziie, 123. 
Wamyosho, 137. 

Yamato kwai-i-ki, 195. 
Yokwaigaku kogi, 134. 
Yuhisai sakki, 223. 
Yiiho meisho lyaku, 170. 

Zoku kojidan, 165. 



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ERRATA. 

, 22, note 3: Fah hai, read Fah hai. 

63, line 6 from beneath : he lies hidden in thei world , 
read : he hides (covers) the world. 
91, note 4: Pao chi lun, read P^'ao chi lun. 
93, „ 4: ff)t, read ff)t#. 
119, „ 3: Ch. V, read pp. 160 sq. 
136, line 1 : Fudoki, read Fudoki. 
143, note 6: 910, read 901. 
148, „ 7: IE, read !£. 



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Digitized by Microsoft® 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



Digitized by Microsoft® 



Digitized by Microsoft®